Darnall was initially a small hamlet usually included with Attercliffe. William Walker, a resident of the settlement, is one of several people rumoured to have been the executioner of Charles I of England. A hall was built by the Staniforth family in the centre of Darnall in 1723; in 1845 this became a private "lunatic asylum".
Holy Trinity church, the first in Darnall, was built in 1840, followed by a hospital in 1855 and a school in 1875. By the mid-nineteenth century, it was a centre for farming and coal mining, and was known for its amateur greyhound racing. Industry was also important, with the Don Glass Works established around 1793, augmented by the Darnall Works steel foundry from 1835.
A mix of council housing, 1880s steelworkers cottages, small terrace housing and 1930s private semi-detached houses make up the accommodation within the Darnall area.
Demographic changes over the years have reduced the population with a consequent reduction in the number of school age children in the district. One nursery/infant (4 - 7 yrs) and one junior (8 - 11 yrs) school (sharing the same name,Greenlands) and one community school, Phillimore, serve the area. Secondary level schools outside the area provide education for children aged over 11 years.