Wind catcher systems have been employed in buildings in the Middle East for many centuries and they are known by different names in different parts of the region. Recently there has been an increase in the application of this approach for natural ventilation and passive cooling in the UK and other countries. This paper presents the results of experimental wind tunnel and smoke visualisation testing, combined with CFD modelling, to investigate the performance of the wind catcher. For this purpose, a full-scale commercial system was connected to a test room and positioned centrally in an open boundary wind tunnel. Because much ventilation design involves the use of computational fluid dynamics, the measured performance of the system was also compared against the results of CFD analysis. Configurations included both a heated and unheated space to determine the impact of internal heat sources on airflow rate. Good comparisons between measurement and CFD analysis were obtained. Measurements showed that sufficient air change could be achieved to meet both air quality needs and passive cooling.