The village is located on an old Roman road which runs from "Juliobona" (Lillebonne) to "Rotomagus" (Rouen). Another Roman road linking "Breviodurum" (Brionne) to "Mediolanum" (Évreux), also crosses La Frenaye’s borders.
The name comes from the Latin fracsinus, meaning ‘’place of the ash trees’’.
The Gallo-Roman period is often mentioned in the history of the region, many relics having been found in excavations and having discovered the foundations of two military camps protecting the Roman roads. A farm still operates to this day, bearing the name of ‘’Lionnière’’, supposedly used to keep the lions and other wild animals during the celebrations organized in the amphitheatre at Lillebonne.
The 1 August 1914 saw the mobilization of 60 men of the village. 30 were killed and five were missing by the end of World War I. In 1939, soldiers were again mobilised. In 1940 the exodus of Frenaysiens reached its peak, with rumours of German atrocities. During this period many Frenaysien soldiers were imprisoned in Germany or were requisitioned for compulsory labour. During the night of 7 August 1944, a Royal Air Force Lancaster crashed in La Frenaye. Three British airmen were killed and now rest in La Frenaye cemetery. On August 30, 1944, the Germans left La Frenaye.