The name Broxbourne is believed to derive from the Old English words brocc and burna meaning Badger stream.
Broxbourne grew up on the Great Cambridge Road, now known as the A10. A number of old houses and inns dating from the 16th to the 19th century still line the High Street (now the A1170). The Manor of Broxbourne is described in the Domesday Book, which mentions Broxbourne Mill.
The manor was held in the time of Edward the Confessor by Stigand, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but had passed into Norman hands following the Conquest. King John granted the manor to the Knights Hospitallers until the Dissolution, when it passed to John Cock, after whose family Cock Lane is named.
The parish church of St Augustine was entirely rebuilt in the 15th century, although a 12th-century Purbeck marble font survives. The interior has a number of monuments and brasses dating from the 15th to the 19th century.