Millfields was the site of a battle, the home of the Orient Football Club, a municipal power station, the Clapton GreyhoundTrack and the fields around corn and timber mills. The meat market at Smithfields was served by the sheep drives through Millfields in the middle ages.

The Danes sailed up the Lea in the late 9th century to attack Hertford. Millfields is reputed to be the site of a a battle where they were ambushed (presumably by Saxons) on their way back south.

Lea Bridge Road was originally called Millfields Lane and became a toll road in 1745. The last toll was charged in 1872.

The power station built in 1901 was owned by the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney. Coal fired, it provided electricity for street lighting. Between 1900 and 1930, Clapton Orient (now Leyton Orient FC) had a ground on what is now Millfields Estate.

In 1922, it hosted a historic game – the first football match to be attended by a member of the Royal Family. The Prince of Wales and future Edward VIII watched Clapton Orient beat Notts County 3-0. The stadium was designed by Sir Owen Willimans and was later a venue for boxing and baseball. In later life, it became Clapton Greyhound Track, finally closing in 1974.