The first historic reference to Peterston super Ely appears in a valuation of St. Peter’s church in the village in 1254, although the present Norman church is reputed to have been built on the site of an earlier Celtic church. The oldest structure in the village is the remains of Peterston Castle which was built by the Norman lords of the manor, the Le Sor family, probably in the mid 13th century. Only a stone wall approx. four metres high remains today which was part of the North East tower of the castle. The castle replaced an earlier structure destroyed by the Welsh, and the Norman castle was in turn sacked and destroyed by Owain Glyndwr in 1403.
From the medieval period until the 19th century, the settlement was a small rural community with the majority of its inhabitants deriving an income from agriculture. A flavour of the village in the early 19th century is provided by A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis 1833:
"PETERSTON super ELY, a parish in the hundred of DINAS-POWIS, county Of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 7 miles (w.) from Cardiff, containing 192 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Peter, and its distinguishing adjunct from its situation on the bank of the river Ely, lies in the south-eastern part of the county, and comprises a moderate portion of arable and pasture land, which is in a good state of cultivation. Limestone is found in most parts of the parish, and the procuring of it affords employment to a portion of the inhabitants. .......... A parochial school for the gratuitous instruction of poor children, and a Sunday school, are supported principally by subscription. There are in this parish the remains of an ancient castle, which has been long in ruins ; but nothing satisfactory is known either of its original foundation or of its history. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to £125. 16."
Major change arrived with the construction of the railway (opened 1850) and the opening of a railway station west of the village in the second half of the 19th century. The train station closed in 1971 and was demolished. In 1875 a Church in Wales school was built south of the church, now a residential dwelling.
In the early 20th century John and Reginald Cory, coal magnates, began a Garden Village to the south of, and quite separate from, the historic village, now known as Wyndham Park. Main Avenue was, and remains, a wide and straight spine road uphill from a bridge over the river. The road originally crossed the river on the site of today’s footbridge but is now re-directed westwards along Wyndham Park Way.
Further housing development took place in the late 20th century adding to the settlement’s population. The Peterston Church in Wales Primary School was moved to a new site on the NE of the village in 1974 and has about 180 pupils. Peterston super Ely (Community Council area) is now a thriving community with a population of almost 900 people.