Originally a farming community consisting of a few scattered farms, it is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and was owned by the Clergy of Wolverhampton Church. It is possible that the population numbers were fairly static until the opening of a new mine, Hilton Main, in the 1920s. The mine closed in 1969.
The Duke of Cleveland was lord of the manor of this small township of 550 acres and just 34 souls in 1851. This was once the residence of John Huntbach (1639-1705), the noted antiquary. The principal inhabitants were Joshua Price and Edward Tunycliffe, farmers, and John Perry the lock manufacturer.
The village's population at the time of the 1851 census was 35. By 1921 this had risen to 39. By the time of the 2001 UK census it was 3,948.