The history of the town goes back into Roman times, indicated by the findings near the precincts of the town, while in the Middle Ages a few villages occupied the area where the current town stands. After the Ottoman Turkish administration of Hungary, the then-village was largely emptied, but the Barren of Herend was repopulated between 1764 and 1847.
The town is most famous for its long tradition of excellent porcelain manufacturing. Founded in 1826, Herend Porcelain is one of the world's largest ceramic factories, specializing in luxury hand painted and gilded porcelain. In the mid-19th century it was purveyor to the Habsburg Dynasty and aristocratic customers throughout Europe. Many of its classic patterns are still in production. After the fall of communism in Hungary the factory was privatised and is now 75% owned by its management and workers, exporting to over 60 countries of the world.Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton got a special painted Herend Porcelain as wedding gift from Hungary on 29 April 2011.