Both areas came under Hamo de Masci in Norman times. His base was a wooden castle at Dunham. Watch Hill Castle was built on the border between Bowdon and Dunham Massey between the Norman Conquest and the 13th century. The timber castle most likely belonged to Hamo de Mascy; the castle had fallen out of use by the 13th century. The last Hamo de Masci died in 1342. The Black Death came to the area in 1348. Before 1494 the ruins of the castle at Dunham were acquired by Sir Robert Booth. In 1750, this and the other Booth estates passed to the Earl of Stamford by his marriage to Lady Mary Booth. The 10th and last Earl of Stamford died in 1976, who bequeathed Dunham Massey and his Carrington estates to the National Trust.
The development of Bowdon as a residential area began apace in the 1840s, when the landowners of the area sold off parcels of land. The opening of Bowdon railway station in 1849 provided a commuter route to the centre of Manchester, making the clean air and tranquility of the Bowdon Downs more attractive to developers. Initially, terraces and semi-detached houses were built, but by the 1860s and 1870s, the 'merchant princes' had built the large houses on Green Walk which are still a defining feature of the ward. By 1878 Kelly's Directory was describing Bowdon as "studded with handsome villas and mansions", and around 60% of the residents were business owners. Mains water appeared in 1864, and gas lighting by 1865.
The Altrincham History Society Tour highlights historical facts about Bowdon: