Hett marked the eastern boundary of the ancient moor of Spennymoor and in early references to its name was referred to as Hett in Spen.

Since early times Hett has been an agricultural village and today serves as a dormitory village but still retains its agricultural origins. Hett is derived from the Old English haett ‘the hat’ which is appropriate as it sits on top of a conspicuous hill much like a hat on a head.