According to the extensive research of local scholars that began in the 19th century, the first traces of human civilisations in the Aa Valley date back to the paleolithic and neolithic periods.
A hunter-gatherer settlement occupied the Lumbres Mountain around 3500 BC. Since this time, the site continued to be inhabited based on evidence of Gallo-Roman and Merovingian civilisations.
The first known church in Lumbres dates to the 12th century. It was built in a Roman style in stone with a central tower overlooking the heart of Lumbres until its reconstruction under the Second Empire by Alexandre Grigny.
In the 19th century, Lumbres boomed because the flow of the Aa river fostered the installation of watermills between 1826 and 1842. These mills modernised and specialised paper production, and during this same period, the owners of the paper mills constructed their beautiful houses in the heart of the town.
At the end of the 19th century, the arrival of railways placed Lumbres at the crossing point of the Boulogne-Saint Omer and the Anvin-Calais lines, which reinforced the attractiveness of the town. A cement plant was built in 1884 and with it and these other developments came more employment for millers, railway workers, and cement manufacturers and the town increased eightfold over the course of two centuries.