The commune of Fernelmont was officially created on 3 January 1977, through the fusion of ten rural communes. It was named Fernelmont (Ash Tree Mountain) after a thirteenth century castle which was positioned more or less at the centre of the newly created commune. None of the villages comprising the commune has ever been called Fernelmont, and the Maison Communal (council office) is in Noville-les-Bois.
The commune includes a "Zone d'Activités Économiques" (Z.A.E. / light industrial zone), south of the village of Noville-les-Bois, designed to accommodate small and medium sized non-polluting businesses, covering an area of up to 120 hectares. At the end of 2010 the Z.A.E. already covered more than 50 hectares, having welcomed around 100 small and medium sized enterprises, and slightly more than 800 people were employed in the zone.