Hellifield is noticeably different from many neighbouring villages in the respect that it features quite a lot of modern buildings as it lies just outside the boundary of the Dales and isn’t party to same building restrictions.
That isn’t to say it does not 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.
The village owes much of its history to the growth of the railways in the mid to late 19th century. As well as agriculture, many people in Hellifield worked in the cotton weaving trade when the Little North Western Railway opened village’s train station in 1849.
Initially it was a very modest station, but when the Settle to Carlisle line was completed in 1876, Midland Railway decided that a major expansion was needed. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway later added the station to its Ribble Valley line to Blackburn and town flourished further with a major train depot and goods yard opening.
Today, Hellifield Station retains most of its Victorian features and is Grade II listed. However, it is unmanned and much of its platforms has fallen into disrepair. Extensive restoration work is likely to take place at some stage in the next few years.
Long before trains cut through the landscape, the area was home to packs of grey wolves and guides had be used to safely lead travellers between the village and nearby Long Preston. As well as a threat to people, they was also a danger to livestock before grey wolves became extinct around the 16th century.
A well-known and beautiful phenomenon around the village are the Hellifield Flashes, which are large natural ponds in the fields that provide an important part of the habitat for migratory birds.
Two of the main places to visit close to Hellifield are the village of Gargrave and the market town of Settle.
Gargrave is perhaps best known for its history of Roman settlement, with a villa named Kirk Sink being excavated in the fields on the outskirts of the village during the 1960s and 1970s. Many of the mosaics and items found are now on exhibit at the Craven Museum and Gallery in Skipton.
Settle is home to a popular market every Tuesday and hosts an annual storytelling festival each October.
Just a few miles to the south on the way to Skipton is Coniston Hall, which has its own lake that is open for fishing and has stocks of rainbow and brown trout.