In medieval times it seems that the area between Hellifield and Long Preston was hunted by wolves, so men were employed to guide travellers between the two settlements. Livestock suffered until the extinction of the grey wolf.
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.
During the 19th century, the railway revolution reached the village, 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.
Currently there are plans for further housing on greenfield sites around the village, which will see a large increase in the village population. Currently 200 houses are being built on the old auction mart site.
Hellifield is infamous among people from other villages for its over-the-top Christmas decorations that villagers adorn their houses with over the festive period. It has been said that the light which comes of these council houses is so powerful that it can actually be seen from space.