Originally called "Bertone" in the Domesday Book, it has been suggested that Highburton was the location of the original settlement that now makes up Kirkburton, given its strategic high ground. Historians consider that the original church or religious temple was located in this part of the village before it was relocated to its present position. It is more likely, given the possible existence of an Iron Age settlement in Kirkburton that both villages commenced life at similar stages. It was a hamlet until the middle of the 20th century, when housing developments increased the size of the village substantially. The historic old part of the village can be found around the Cross on Slant Gate, Far Dene and Towngate. Houses towards the eastern part of the village, on the many streets that border Moor Lane and Burton Acres Lane, were built much later on what were fields and allotments. Today Highburton is the largest residential area within the township, whilst Kirkburton remains, as it was traditionally, the commercial part.
Highburton is home to Highburton First School, the headteacher of which is Mr Roy Hobbs. The school contains 6 years including a reception year.
Highburton was the home of local magazine 'The Burton Bulletin' . It contains news and pictures from Kirkburton, Highburton, Storthes Hall and the surrounding areas and is published every quarter. In A5 format about 40% of the content is in full colour and usually has a total of approx 200 pages. The editor is Trevor Fawcett. The editorial office is now located in Skelmanthorpe and is printed in Peterborough. It is a free publication, delivered by volunteers to 2100 homes every quarter and additional copies are sent on subscription to various parts of the UK, Canada, USA,Ireland and France.
Highburton Cross: Marking the site of the medieval market, the steps at the base probably date from the 14th century, the shaft and ball from the 18th or 19th. The cross stands at the top of Far Dene at its junction with Town Gate and Hall Lane.
Burton Village Hall: Formerly Highburton School, the Village Hall was extensively renovated in 1999 with funds raised by the local community and a grant from the National Lottery Fund. It is the home to Kirkburton Parish Council and a number of groups.
Highburton Co-op: Located on Towngate in the centre of the village, the Co-op can lay claim to being the world's oldest operating independent single retail cooperative outlet. The building was purchased from the church in 1856 and began trading in the same year. It has operated from the same site ever since.
The Smiths Arms: Located at the summit of Far Dene, the Smiths Arms is the only public house in the village and occupies one of its oldest buildings. Built in 1669 in a Tudor/Jacobean style, it began trading as a public house in 1830. Whilst it is the oldest pub building in the township it is not the oldest public house. That honour goes to the George Inn in Kirkburton, which dates back to the 18th century.
Primitive Methodist Chapel: The primitive methodists built their chapel at the top of Slant Gate in 1832. A school, now demolished, was built in 1899 and the chapel was enlarged in 1926. Like the methodist chapel in Kirkburton it too closed, this time in 1973, and is also a private house.