There was at least one dwelling at Milkwall, situated on the Forest boundary in 1628. The earliest houses at Milkwall were within the parish of Coleford with just a few houses on the extraparochial Crown land.
There was some mining in the 17th century when a drift mine was being worked at Milkwall. Mining for iron ore was taking place in the 1820s when Edward Protheroe opened up ore mines near Milkwall. In the mid-1860s, Easter, a deep mine at Milkwall, employed around 50 men and boys.
An early tramroad to serve the mines, was built by the Severn & Wye tramroad company to connect to their junction at Parkend. In 1875 the Severn & Wye constructed a railway to Coleford. It left the main line at Parkend and in places shadowed the Milkwall branch tramroad. A station was provided at Milkwall for this branch line.
The production of lime, which during the 19th century was used as flux in local ironworks as well as for farming and building, also took place in Milkwall. There were engineering works at Milkwall belonging in 1889 to Tom Morgan which continued casting metals after World War I. A colour (pigment) factory was started at Milkwall in 1926 – it employed 7 people in 1965, when in addition to processing oxides mined elsewhere it ground coal for use in the paper and fibreboard industries and in drills.
A beerhouse (later to become the Tufthorn inn) opened at Milkwall by the late 1870s. A wooden village hall was built after World War I and a recreation ground was laid out in the mid-1930s. An association football club had its own ground by the later 1950s. A social club built at Milkwall by 1959 was later enlarged.
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