The village was originally only small consisting of a Manor House, a few ancient farm houses and labourers cottages, two shops and a couple of public-houses, the Fat Ox Inn and the Half Moon Inn, These were both Inns serving travellers on the Morpeth to North Shields turnpike road that passed through the village.
The Manor House, which stands in the village centre, was built for Sir Ralph Bates. The Manor is now known as Strother Farm and was built in 1654 with the inscription MEDIOCRIA FIRMA (The Middle Course is Safe) on the lintel above the front door. The village was once known as Bates Cottages, the name still used by the local Cricket Club that plays on the Sports Ground to the north of the village.
During past times the village has been the property of the Delaval Family from the nearby Delaval Hall and has also been owned by the Duke of Northumberland.
The village has a proud mining history with two nearby collieries that carried the village name, East Holywell and West Holywell. Although both collieries have long since closed you can still make out the old pit heaps that are now part of the surrounding farmland.
Around 1873 the village had its first school on Dene Row where the children of the village were educated. In 1938 Holywell County First School was built by Northumberland County Council. The current school, Holywell Village First School, still remains on this site.
The village church, St. Mary’s, was built in 1885 and is located at the north west of the village. St. Mary’s Church is part of the Seghill Parish and is a Grade II listed building.
Through time the village has expanded to the north and east and has now merged with neighbouring Seaton Delaval. Although the boarder of the two villages is hard to define the centre of Holywell still has that feeling of a village.
Holywell Community Centre
The Community Centre is in the Veteran's Hut that is set back off Holywell Dene Road up a short pathway.
The hut Is situated in a small garden area that is next to a small number of allotment sites.
The Hut has a main room that is suitable for meetings, group activities and parties. Immediately outside the Hut is a grassed and paved patio area with seating.