Einhard, the historian of Charles the Great, wrote in 830 about someone from Heppen, located in the estate Taxandria. At that time Heppen was a hamlet of Beverlo and formed the Land of Ham with Kwaadmechelen and Oostham. This vast domain was part of the county of Loon and the Principality of Liège. The inhabitants of Heppen were thus subject to the same laws and approves as other inhabitants of the Lordship of Ham. For the jurisdiction they had aldermen bank of Ham, they knew the mill and brewery restraint, which the landlord in addition to many other rules had applied. As neighborhood of Beverlo Heppen had its sworn. He defended the interests of the population and owed responsibility to the landlord of Ham.

A first step towards independence was set in 1778 when a chapel was erected, so that the inhabitants were no longer required to run the distant distance to Beverlo’s church. At the beginning of the municipalities in 1795, Heppen remained a hamlet of Beverlo. A second step towards independence was taken in 1839 when Heppen became an independent parish. More than ten years later, in 1850, Heppen separated itself from Beverlo and became an independent municipality.

The division of the heath plains caused difficulties which were only solved until 1864. From that year, large parts of the heath were wooded. Heppen was unlocked by the construction of the road Leopoldsburg-Veerle in 1851, the road Beringen-Heppen in 1852 and the railway line Diest-Leopoldsburg in 1878. Especially in the 20th century, the population grew strongly thanks to the coal mining in Beringen and later by the development of the industrial estate of Tessenderlo. In the hamlet Immert a large residential area originated where mostly miners lived. In 1930 a neighborhood school was established and in 1948 a chapel was build.

In 1977, the municipality of Heppen was dissolved and became a municipality of Leopoldsburg.

On June 18 1951, the centenary of Heppen was extensively celebrated.

Old postcard from Heppen (ca 1905) with a part of the Dorpsplein and the Steenweg to ‘t Kamp.

This article is also available in Nederlands