Located along the Yerne, the village is mentioned for the first time in 1034 under the name of Donum Cyric a diploma of the Emperor Conrad II. In 1084 the abbey of Saint Jacques acquires a vast area and conceded the advocate Regnier, attorney of St. Lambert. But Donceel had his destiny linked to the lordship of Haneffe. In 1456, the Godefrein Donceel bought two properties on the edge of the Yerne to build a castle. In the seventeenth century the castle passed into the hands of the Hemricourt, then the Chestret of which still occupies it.
Donceel was entirely devoted to agriculture. In the second half of the nineteenth century the production of beet sugar was important. The Chestret family held the job of mayor of the town for nearly 100 years.