There is evidence of a Neolithic settlement at Elburg consisting of stone tools and pottery shards. From Roman times there are names and shards of earthenware which suggest that there was an army camp at the site of Elburg. The earliest extant written record of Elburg is from 796 AD.
Between 1392 and 1396 Elburg was rebuilt after a flood in the form it is seen today, with a moat and a city wall, together with a gridiron street plan. This rapid rebuilding was expensive, indicating that Elburg was reasonably affluent in medieval times. Several records of Elburg date back to the 14th century. Elburg was granted town status by Earl Jan van Geel early in the century. There is a record that Elburg got its fishing right granted in 1313. In 1367 the city was recorded as a member of the Hanseatic League.