Hawksworth was historically a township in the large ancient parish of Otley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It became a separate civil parish in 1866. In 1937 the civil parish was abolished and merged into the new Aireborough Urban District. In 1974 Aireborough was itself abolished and absorbed into the City of Leeds Metropolitan District in the new county of West Yorkshire.
Hawksworth Hall is the largest building in the village, it is Grade 2 listed and was probably built in the 16th century.
Hawksworth Church of England Primary School was founded in 1874 and has a capacity for 115 pupils.
Hawksworth is the model for the fictional village of "Windyridge" in the best-selling 1912 novel of that name by Willie Riley. The central character is a London artist and photographer, Grace Holden. She finds the village by chance and decides to rent a cottage there for a year. Until the 1940s the village was often visited by readers looking for "Windyridge".