According to legend, Uccle's church of St. Peter was dedicated by Pope Leo III in the year 803, with Charlemagne and Gerbald, Bishop of Liège, attending the ceremony. During the following centuries, several noble families built their manors and took residency here. The first mention of the name Woluesdal, now evolved into Wolvendael, dates from 1209. In 1467, Isabella of Portugal, wife of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy founded a Franciscan convent on Uccle's territory. Later, Uccle became the judiciary capital of the area including Brussels. Throughout the early stages of its history, however, the village of Uccle always had a predominantly rural character and lived mostly from the products of forestry and agriculture.
At the end of the 18th century, a few years after the French Revolution, Uccle merged with neighbouring territories to become a commune, with its own mayor and municipal assembly. It had to wait until 1828, however, for the Dutch authorities to allow the construction of the first town hall. This was a time of economic prosperity and growth, stimulated by the proximity to the two main roads linking Brussels to the industrial south. A newer and larger town hall was built between 1872 and 1882. Banker and philanthropist Georges Brugmann contributed a lot to the urbanisation of the city just before the turn of the 20th century. In the early 20th century Michel van Gelder introduced a new breed of chicken, the d'Uccle, named after the town. Despite the accelerated rate of construction that took place in the early 20th century, Uccle succeeded in keeping several of its green areas intact, which now attract many of the Brussels area's wealthier inhabitants.
Lying beyond Forest and Ixelles and skirting the Forêt de Soignes, Uccle is Brussel's largest and most southerly commune. Large, 19th-century detached houses with generous gardens make this green and calm suburb a favourite with well-off expatriates, with the art deco area around the Royal Observatory and the fringes of the Forêt de Soignes the two most desirable addresses.
Uccle is mainly a residential area, but counts a lot of parks and forested areas, such as the Wolvendael Park and the Verrewinkel Woods. Wolvendael is the site of a 1763 castle, owned by a number of notable aristocrats from the 18th to 19th centuries.
Uccle Cemetery, also known as Dieweg Cemetery, was created following a cholera epidemics that afflicted Brussels in 1866. Its mixture of trees and old stones exudes a unique romantic atmosphere. Although burials ended in 1958, the grave of Hergé, the creator of Tintin who died in 1983, can be found here.