Il-Qrendi was documented for the first time in the Militia List of 1417, and is described as having 26 ‘households’. But before 1417, at about 3800 BC, people living in the Qrendi area had already built the megalithic temples of Mnajdra and Ħaġar Qim, at the outskirts of this village. Remains of shaft graves, field catacombs, and other archaeological evidence testify also to settlements which continued to these days.
Through the passage of time, narrow winding streets, typical courtyard houses adjacent to small fields with ‘rural rooms’ became the physical features of Qrendi. During the Order of St John an octagonal tower (sottoposto) housed a subsidiary garrison for protection of the area from piratical raids.Later a ring of lookout towers on the coast was built by the Knights, two of which are in Qrendi.
This otherwise peaceful village has always been a popular place and several of the Knights of Malta, who ruled from 1530 to 1798, had summer residences in Qrendi; four are in the village centre, with the Guarena Palace and the Gutenberg Palace at the outskirts.
When the British arrived in 1800 Qrendi was put under a Magistrate, a Luogotenente, who earned his sustenance through the fruits sold from a walled garden built on the authority of the first civil commissioner Sir Alexander Ball.
During the Second World War, Qrendi and its surrounds hosted a number of garrisons of British forces in preparation for action against Rommel’s forces in North Africa; Qrendi also became the site of an airstrip built for the Allied invasion of Sicily. The village has altered considerably in recent years, with a substantial bypass road, and modern housing round its outskirts. An open space in front of the Parish Church was created by removing the walled grounds of an old villa; nevertheless much of the ‘old’ village core remains.
One of Qrendi’s treasures is the Maqluba, an enormous karstic depression, which fell in during a great storm in 1343. There are seven churches and chapels in the parish, mostly built on the sites of earlier structures.
When the first ‘parishes’ were set up in 1436, Qrendi was part of Zurrieq Parish, but as it grew it became a separate parish in 1618. The Parish Church, designed by Lorenzo Gafa’, was completed in 1720.
By this time Qrendi had gradually grown to a four figure population, and is now slightly over 2500 outlying. Good local restaurants abound in Wied iż-Żurrieq, a fishing hamlet by the sea. Boats ply to the ‘Blue Grotto’, a place of great scenic attraction. Until recent years the villagers lived by farming, quarrying and fishing, risen early in the morning, but returning from the fields at noon for midday lunch; at about this time in summer months the village closes down for siesta, opening up again about four o’clock.
Under the Local Councils Act 1993 Qrendi was constituted a District with its own Council; five councilors are elected every four years as amende by Legal Notice no. XVI. 2009.6., choosing from among them a mayor. Local road maintenance, cleaning, and parking controls are the responsibility of the council, but it liaises with the central government and other bodies over a wide range of issue of local concern. Its offices are situated just off the main square.