Raindale watermill originally stood at the foot of the secluded Raindale Valley in the North Yorkshire Moors. At first the building was used as a cottage, but in the early 1800s a waterwheel and milling machinery were installed.
Like many mills in North Yorkshire it provided purely for small scale local needs, grinding wheat into flour for human consumption, and oats and barley into meal to feed livestock. The mill became redundant in 1915 and in 1935 it was offered by its owner to Dr Kirk for his new Museum - York Castle Museum. The Mill was reconstructed on its present site, and opened to the public in 1966.