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May 26, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg plans to relocate Robertson’s Windmill

Colonial Williamsburg plans to relocate Robertson’s Windmill and make repairs to stabilize the structure at the Palace Farms site, directly across the pedestrian bridge from the Visitor Center and near Great Hopes Plantation. There the building will contribute to the landscape of rural life in the 18th century and serve as a visual beacon drawing guests across the bridge and into their 18th-century experience.

The Foundation will consult with the City of Williamsburg to review the plan and to obtain necessary approvals with the goal of relocating the windmill this summer and completing repairs by 2011. Reassembly of the windmill will take 12-18 months due to the preparation and curing time needed for large wooden elements such as the spars and wind beam.

Relocation of the windmill also will help to complete the 1770s historical scene at Peyton Randolph’s “urban plantation.” Originally erected in the early 18th century, the windmill was reconstructed in 1957, long before the Randolph site opened to the public. Current evidence suggests that Peyton Randolph removed all existing structures in this area when he undertook the sweeping expansion of his home site in the 1750s. The exact location of the original mill remains uncertain. Although historical records place it in the general vicinity, archaeological excavations have failed to uncover evidence of the structure, last mentioned in the records in 1723. The windmill’s current location is in the middle of what is believed to be the Randolphs’ kitchen or pleasure garden.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Jim Bradley
(757) 220-7281