The mill's exterior can be viewed without charge from Castle Mills Bridge (Tower Street). However, the interior can only be viewed as part of a visit to the York Castle Museum (entrance fee payable). The mill has restricted opening hours which are subject to change at short notice (they are dependent on the availability of volunteers), so you are advised to check with the museum (see 'External Links' below) before arranging a visit.
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Raindale Mill is a relocated water-powered flour mill. It forms part of York Castle Museum and the machinery is operated occassionally by volunteers.
The two-storey mill building has a simple rectangular floor plan and is constructed from gritstone ashlar (smooth faced gritstone blocks) with a slate roof (see Images 1, 2 & 3).
The building originally stood in the small village of Newton-upon-Rawcliffe in Ryedale (on the southern flank of the North Yorkshire Moors, 4 miles northeast of Pickering). It was constructed as a cottage / house some time during the eighteenth century, then converted into a water-powered mill (circa 1800) to grind flour and animal feed for the villagers and their livestock.
The mill became redundant in 1915 and the building was dismantled stone-by-stone in 1935. The components were carefully labelled, then stored for thirty years before being reassembled in 1966 beside the River Foss in the grounds of York Castle Museum.
During the reconstruction process, the mill equipment was restored to full working order. An external 14 feet diameter overshot waterwheel (see Image 4) drives a single pair of millstones located inside the mill building. The water used to drive the waterwheel is pumped from the River Foss and stored in a specially constructed pond.
Prior to 2005, visitors to the museum could watch wheat being ground, then purchase the resulting flour in attractive cloth bags. The equipment is still operated on an occasional basis by volunteers, but it no longer grinds wheat or produces flour.
The area surrounding the mill has been landscaped and planted with meadow flowers and native trees, giving the feel of a cottage garden.
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