Hellesdon has signs of very early settlement. A variety of flint instruments have been unearthed in and around Hellesdon, thought to date back at least 4,000 years. A collection of bronze axe heads were found near Hellesdon Hall, and a skeleton dating from around 600 AD was discovered next to Hellesdon Lodge in Low Road.
The Dictionary of British Place-names indicates that the name Hellesdon comes from Hægelisdun (the spelling of the location c.985), meaning ‘hill of a man named Hægel’, with the spelling having changed to Hailesduna by 1086. Hægelisdun is recorded in tradition as the location where King Edmund was killed by Viking invaders in 869, although there is no consensus on the location of this event.