"The town of Holywell is situated on the estuary of the Dee nearly opposite to Parkgate. ... It is built on the declevity of a hill gradually extending to the sea, the surrounding hills forming a kind of amphitheatre. ... The town of Holywell ranks the first in the principality of Wales. Its inhabitants are intelligent and enterprising, and few places can boast of society being better cemented, or good cheer and hospitality more uniformly practised."
[From The Histories of Holywell, Flint, St. Asaph and Rhuddlan, Poole, 1831]
Holywell is one of the "ancient parishes" of Flintshire. It originally comprised the townships of Holywell, Brynford, Bagillt Fawr, Bagillt Fechan, Calcot, Coleshill Fawr, Coleshill Fechan, Greenfield, Stokyn and Wellstone (or Trefynnon).
On 23 May 1844, the new parish of Bagillt was created from the townships of Bagillt Fawr, Bagillt Fechan, Coleshill Fawr and Coleshill Fechan.
In 1854, most of the township of Brynford was lost to the new parish of Brynford.
In 1983, the area of Wellstone was transferred to the parish of Brynford.