The name Bourne is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "burne" meaning "water" or "stream". In 1086 the town was recorded in the Domesday book as "Brune". Bourne Abbey was founded as a canary in 1138 and it is thought that there was an earlier Anglo-Saxon Abbey. In 1536 the abbey was dissolved and became the parish church of Bourne.
Bourne castle was a Norman Motte and Bailey Castle built by Baldwin FitzCilbert. In 1645 the castle was destroyed by Cromwell's troops and a farmhouse built on the site. The site is now part of Wellhead Park where the remains are still visible.
During the 19th century the railway arrived and the town expanded and flourished, much of the towns wealth was from the corn-trade. In the 20th century the town continued to grow and develop into the busy little market town of today.