JRGS The Windmill
JRGS Alumni Society

A Famous Landmark:
The Shirley Windmill

JRGS Alumni Society


JRGS Windmill in 1993

The first windmill was built on the site around 1810; a Mr. Alwen had the lease on the Shirley property from 1812 and the freehold from 1825. The original windmill burnt down in 1854.

The present structure - described as a tarred brick tower-mill with boat-shaped weather boarded cap - was erected almost immediately, and was probably a windmill brought from East London. Mr. Alwen's son worked the windmill until his death in 1884.

By 1893, Alfred Rayson, its owner at the time, was forced to abandon the mill as unviable. After closure the mill was allowed to deteriorate, being struck by lightning in 1899 and again in 1906.

The JRGS site in 1993, during its transformation into a private housing development.
"Windmills" comprises 3-, 4- and
5-bedroom detached residences.

Photo: Stephen Lander.
Simply click on the graphic or caption to download a larger image

Archive windmill

Windmill 12-29-2001

Windmill 12-29-2001

A vintage photograph of unrestored windmill
: unknown

From the April 1961 JRGS School Magazine
Photo: A. Hills, L.VIa

Christmas 2001
from Shirley Road.

Photo: Merelyn Davis

December 2001, during
a brief snowstorm.

Photo: Mel Lambert

There have been a number of restorations over the years, first in 1927 by George Givan, who had purchased Shirley Court and the windmill. In 1952, Croydon County Council purchased the mill and the grounds from Mrs. Annie Givan to build the new JRGS. Threatened with demolition when the new school was built, the mill was protected by its listed status and strong public interest. It was used as a changing room/storage facility until the school closed.

The possibility of the windmill becoming a museum had been mooted since 1977, but it was not until August 1996 that London Borough of Croydon announced a grant of 218,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for this purpose. Working with Friends of Shirley Windmill, the grant money has helped restore the mill to working order.
   It is opened to the public on the first Sunday of each month from June until October, between 1 pm and 5 pm. Touch-screen interactives, information panels and hands-on displays are offered. Entry is free but donations towards upkeep and further restoration are welcomed.
   More information is available from Friends of Shirley Windmill secretary, Tony Skrzypczyk.

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2023 JRGS Alumni Society. All Rights Reserved. Last revised: 17.02.23