Volunteers are being invited to help restore and run one of York’s hidden gems so it can be opened up to the public. Dating from the early 1800s, Raindale Mill was painstakingly moved brick by brick to York Castle Museum from its original home on the North York Moors in 1935.

It originally opened to the public in 1966 but in recent years the public have not been allowed access because of staffing and health and safety concerns.

But York Museums Trust, which runs the museum, now hopes to recruit an army of volunteers to help restore the mill and demonstrate how it would have worked to thousands of visitors.

Fiona Burton, volunteers manager for the Trust, said: “This is a fantastic building with an incredible history. It is still has the potential to be a fully functioning mill and we hope that, with a bit of love and care by staff and trained volunteers, we can get it open to the public this summer.”

Anyone interested in helping with the project, or who wants to find out more, should email Fiona on fiona.burton@ymt.org.uk or write to her at York Castle Museum, Eye of York, York, YO1 9RY.

History of Raindale Mill

Raindale watermill originally stood at the foot of the secluded Raindale Valley on the North York Moors. 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.