Hellifield Parish Council

Local History

Ye olde ancient hamlet of Helgeflet...................

In the Domesday Book Hellifield is mentioned as Helgeflet; meaning 'Holy Marsh or Stream', translated from Anglo-Saxon. The village could have been dedicated to the Anglo-Saxon Goddess 'Hel'. There is also the possibility that the name derives from the Norse 'The Farm of Helgi'.

In the mid-19th century, the village was nothing more than a hamlet. The local workforce mainly concentrated within agriculture and associated trades.

Cotton weaving did take place in the village and several weaving sheds were constructed in the area.

Hellifield owes much of its history to the growth of the railways in the mid to late 19th century which dramatically changed the growth and population changes of the small hamlet.

The original railway station was located on Haw Lane, but in 1880 a new station replaced the old one. This coincided with the opening of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company's new line from Blackburn to Hellifield. This line and the Midland Railway's Settle to Carlisle Railway (opened 1876), turned Hellifield into a major passenger and freight interchange. Consequently many houses and streets were built in the early 20th century to house a large railway population.

Regular passenger services to Blackburn were cut in 1962, and the Motive Power Depot closed in 1963. New houses were constructed on top of previous railway land and the auction mart.

Today, Hellifield Station retains most of its Victorian features and is Grade II listed. Extensive restoration work took place in 2013. More information on the station can be found here Hellifield Railway Station

Hellifield was historically a township in the ancient parish of Long Preston in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It became a separate civil parish in 1866. Hellifield was transferred to the new county of North Yorkshire in 1974. In 2014 the small former civil parishes of Nappa and Swinden were added to the parish. As of 2020, Hellifield is the 10th largest of the 70 Craven parishes in terms of population with around 1430 residents.

Hellifield is quite different from it's neighbouring villages as it has quite a lot of modern buildings - probably due to the fact it is just outside the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is therefore not constrained by building regulations. This isn't to say it doesn't have many traditional and inspiring structures, including the church of St Aidan's which was built to serve the area's blossoming population back in 1904 and the award winning 15th Century Peel Castle, featured on Channel 4 Grand Designs.

More information on Hellifield can be found here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellifield