The village owes its name to the marshes (in Latin "Palus"), in the lower valley of the Durdent.
A Roman mosaic was excavated in 1849 at a place known as the Rosy.
A church has existed here from 988, under the jurisdiction of the abbey at Fécamp.
The manor of Janville was given to the seigneurs of Paluel by Henri III in 1582.
There was a leper colony here until 1695.
The commune had 638 inhabitants in 1876.
The United States "Lucky Strike" army camp counted 300,000 inhabitants after the offensive against Germany during 1944/45.
In 1977, EDF, the French electricity company, built a nuclear power station, with 4 reactors of 1300MW each. It covers 200 hectares (490 acres) of land within the commune.