The river bridge was opened in 1793. The Strutt family, who had brought their cotton-spinning business to Milford in 1781, had previously created a wooden footbridge just to the north of the present bridge.
Previously, the river at Milford could only be crossed by chain ferry. At one time there had been a ford, hence the original name, recorded in the Domesday Book, ‘Muleford’.
The Toll House
To pay for the costs of the bridge, a toll was charged at the gate. Cost of the bridge, toll house and the bridge across the mill leat (water channel) at the far end came to just under £2,154 (the equivalent of £332,731 in 2022). A toll was also taken for using Makeney Road to Duffield.
The bridge was widened in 1906, resulting in the removal of the toll cottage, but retaining the adjoining cottage. This, in turn, was removed c.1964.