Archaeological sites show that Meudon has been populated since Neolithic times.
The Gauls called the area Mol-Dum (sand dune), and the Romans Latinized the name as Moldunum.
The handsome Galliera Institutions, on the hill of Fleury, were founded by the duchess of Galliera for the care of aged persons and orphans. The buildings were completed in 1885.
The old castle of Meudon was rebuilt in Renaissance style in the mid-sixteenth century. It was bought by Louis XIV as a residence for Louis, le Grand Dauphin, under whom Meudon became a center of aristocratic life. After the death of le Grand Dauphin in 1711 the château was neglected, emptied in the Revolutionary sales, and finally burned at the close of the Franco-Prussian War, 1871, while it was occupied by Prussian soldiers. A branch of the Paris Observatory was founded in 1877 on the ruins. The Meudon town hall is about in altitude above that of Paris and the climb from there to the observatory offers some rewarding views of Paris.
Chalais-Meudon was important in the pioneering of aviation, initially balloons and airships, but also the early heavier-than-air machines. A Corps d'Aérostatiers under the command of Jean-Marie-Joseph Coutelle was established in 1794, its balloons being used at the Battle of Fleurus. 'Hangar Y' (at ) was built in 1880 at the request of the military engineer Captain Charles Renard (1847–1905), for the construction of balloons and airships. The building is long, wide and around high. The airship La France, designed by Renard and Arthur Krebs, was built in Hangar Y in 1884 and was the first airship which was controllable during flight and which could return to its starting point.