The railway arrived at Hapton in 1848 but the village here was probably developed during the Iron Age. A fortified manor house existed in 1242. Hapton Tower was built on the top of Hambledon Hill during the 16th century by Sir John Towneley, but by the 18th century the tower had been removed.

Hapton carved its living from cotton, coal and quarrying. The Leeds Liverpool canal passes through the village. In 1886 Hapton became the first small settlement in England to be powered with electricity. A tragic mining accident occurred at Hapton Valley colliery when on 23rd March 1962 a major explosion occurred with fatal results. The surrounding country side is good for walking and there is a local nature trail at Castle Clough. Here close to the railway can be seen traces of the areas industrial past with the old reservoir which supplied a cotton dye works clearly visible.