The mill was powered by a mill pond. This was connected to a mill race where it would hit the waterwheel in overshot of the wheel. The wheel is then connected by gear wheels to millstones that grind grain into flour. In 1915 the water that flowed to the mill pond dried up and so made the mill redundant. It was donated to York Castle Museum in 1935. It was brought to its current site in the 1950s and 60s.
In 2010 the mill reopened with the aim to get it working again. In 2011 the mill has started its restoration to have it working again.
- "York Museums Trust inviting volunteers to help restore Raindale Mill". York Press. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Cliff, Adam. "The Phoenix by the River Foss - Raindale Mill". The Post Hole. The Post Hole.
- "Raindale Mill - turning once more". York Museums Trust Blog. York Museums Trust.