Since Carolingian times, cereals have been grown in Gonesse. In the period of the 12th through the 16th centuries, the cultivation of grain was supplemented by drapery, in particular the production of the coarse woolen material of the gaunace. The commune was an important producer of wheat for the Parisian market in modern times, until the decline of its bakery trade at the end of the 18th century helped feed a strong migration to the capital.
In 1815, Marshal Grouchy arrived in Gonesse in the course of the War of the Sixth Coalition, with 40,000 troops and 120 artillery pieces. On 2 July, the Duke of Wellington made his headquarters at the commune.
Since June 1939, the property Frapart (the Castle) is used as the main establishment of the urban administration.
On 25 July 2000, Air France Flight 4590 — a Concorde supersonic transport — crashed onto a hotel in the town after a tyre blew out, caused by running over a strip of metal that had fallen off a DC-10 at nearby Charles de Gaulle International Airport. The crash led to the deaths of all 109 people on board and four more on the ground. The Concorde crash occurred less than 6 km from Goussainville, the site of the crash of the supersonic Tupolev Tu-144 during the 1973 Paris Air Show.