Putten is and old village, located in the coastal area of the former Zuiderzee (or the even earlier Flevomeer). It is, from an agrarian point of view, one of the best spots on the Veluwe.
The oldest documentation stating the name Putten, is the Folckerus document of 855 in which he hands over goods to the monastery of Werden. In this document Putten is named 'in vico qui dicteur Puthem', so, as a vicus (hamlet or village), an area to which both extensive agricultural complexes as well as woodland belonged. After the foundation of a church in Putten, early 10th century, this hamlet became the centre of the complex whole of hamlets that together formed the congregation Putten (kerspel). Consequently, Putten belongs to the oldest ‘kerspels’ on the Veluwe and for many centuries comprised a very large area. Besides the area of the current municipality of Putten, parts of the current Nijkerk and Voorthuizen municipalities, as well as the seawards situated reclaimed lands, were part of it. Later, Nijkerk (1416) and Voorthuizen were separated from ‘kerspel’ Putten. Over the ages, the seaward reclaimed lands were lost due to subsidence and agricultural drainage. Ever since the dyke construction in the late medieval period, (from 1356) the coast line has been slightly fixated.
Until 1530, Putten and Nijkerk formed one ‘scholtambt’. After the division, two ‘scholtambten’ were created; Nijkerk and Putten. The then existing ‘scholtambt’ Putten was subsequently, after changes in the governmental organization of the Batavian Republic, the Kingdom of Holland, the French empire and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, sustained as the municipality of Putten.
Besides forest and heathland in the higher parts of the municipality, Putten mostly comprises of agricultural areas. Most Putten farms used to belong, during the Ancien Régime, to the estate of the three monasteries: Elten, Werden and the Abdinckhof at Paderborn. In 1559, the control of Werden was handed over to the Abdinckhof, causing the Abdinckhof to become, by far, the biggest landowner in the Putten and Nijkerk area. Until the secularisation of these goods in 1803, this extensive complex was governed by a land agent on behalf of the Abdinckhof , the kellenaar (from the 16th century on exclusively monks of the Abdinckhof), residing at a 'hof', named the Kelnarij (formerly located on the current Brinkstraat).
Throughout Putten’s history and also now in present day Putten, the agricultural sector has been of an essential importance. From the mid-19th century on, particularly during the 20th century, the recreational sector grew to become also an important economic factor. Industry activities (sustainable and small-scale) grew especially during the second half of the 20th century to become a significant factor in Putten’s economy.
The Reformation came relatively late in Putten. Until the end of the 16th century, the Pancratius church remained Roman-Catholic and until 1608, the local pastor remained active as the shepherd of Putten. After that, an almost complete reformation took place. Due to the presence of the monks of Abdinckhof at the Kelnarij, the Roman-Catholic spiritual welfare work, however less extensively, could be continued. Thus, allowing the Roman-Catholic community to remain existing besides the larger Protestant community in Putten.