As far back as 1086 the Doomsday Book records the village as Northrepes and evidence suggests that it has always been agricultural. The village once had a foundry, best remembered for developing the Gallus plough in 1830. This design of plough was widely used well into the 1920s. There is an example of a Gallus plough manufactured at the foundry on display in the parish church.
The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin is mainly 15th century. The rood screen that can be seen today was at sometime removed but restored to the church 1912 after being found in a barn. The chancel has some Norman surviving windows and in the South aisle, the East window is early 20th century depicting the archangels Gabriel, Michael and Raphael. The church is open for visitors daily.
Folk lore tells the legend of Shrieking Pit. It is said that in 1782, Esmeralda, a daughter of a farm worker in Craft Lane, was a beauty in her 18th year and held herself with the grace and dignity of a Lady. Many a lad dreamed of her, but she fell for a married farmer from Roughton. He was made to end the elicit affair which lead Esmeralda to reach the edge of her sanity. She roamed the lanes at night to find solace in the quiet and stillness. On one such Moonlit night, walking along Sandy Lane and Hungry Hill she came by the dark pit. She gazed transfixed in to the steely waters, ....what was it she saw? She jumped in to the icy waters and as she felt the chilly embrace, she let out a wild shriek! A second and then third wild shriek ended sharply and the legend of Shrieking Pit was born. Some say that on February 24th at Midnight something unnatural can be heard and seen near the pit!
The village has also been known for a gang of smugglers. A local woman known as Sally Bean was an ally the of gang and her cottage is still named on Shucks Hill near Forest Park.