Milford has an incredibly rich industrial heritage, and is part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, since its former mills were some of the first mechanised industrial spinning factories in the world at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Jedediah Strutt and his successors built almost all the stone buildings in the village in the period 1780-1850 to provide accommodation and facilities for the workers in their huge mills, which dominated Milford.
You can undertake your own historical tour of the village by looking at the Interpretation Panels and Information Points that have been installed throughout Milford & Makeney.
The summary of the history of Milford & Makeney at the bottom of the page is copied from the Milford page of the Derwent Valley Mills website.
The Strutts North Mill Museum & Belper Historical Society run monthly historical guided walking tours and talks covering the Belper area, and there are usually several covering Milford in any year – see here for the 2023 schedule.
There are other pages on this website covering the past, links to which are highlighted below. There is a page covering the Derwent Valley Mills, including a couple of fascinating animations with commentary of the old South Mill in Milford, which covered the current Soi Kitchen building and Nealies and Strutt Arms car parks. There is a page with the latest theories of the purpose of The Tower on Sunny Hill. There is a page covering some surprising historical firsts for the village, and another explaining how Milford got its nickname of “Treacle City“. There is a page full of the memories of present and former residents, including a detailed account of a large Edwardian wedding between two residents in 1907, which give fascinating insights into what life was like in that era. In another page, a resident of 13 Chevin Road describes the story of a grisly murder , long since forgotten, that took place in the same residence in Victorian times. There are two Derbyshire Life articles from 2011 and 2015 which cover the history of the village and a page giving details of the 57 Milford men who lost their lives in World War 1.
More recent history is covered in the archive of The Treacle City News, a village newsletter which ran in the 1980’s, there is a photo archive of recent Milford & Makeney May Day parades, and an article reporting the burst of the main aqueduct from Ladybower Reservoir which flooded the village in 2019.
Summary of the History of Milford & Makeney, copied from the The Derwent Valley Mills website