Since the time of the Doomsday Book when it was known as Echentone, the name has evolved and shortened to the present spelling. The village has managed to remain largely unspoilt, somewhat surprising given the remorseless expansion of Northampton which now reaches the parish boundary. Development has been mostly infilling and barn conversions, which has not detracted from the village feeling. Ecton would appear to be a thriving settlement judging by the excellent publication produced by the Village Appraisal Group in 1997. The school which came very close to closure due to lack of pupils a few years ago, is now having its first extension built in over 100 years.
This is a place of pilgrimage for many Americans, for this is where the line began that led to Benjamin Franklin, one of Americaís most influential presidents. His ancestors lived here for over 300 years, many generations of them being the village blacksmiths, on a site where now stands the Three Horseshoes Inn. There are still headstones standing to the last of the Franklin line, close to the north porch of the church. A bronze plaque inside the church with a quotation from one of Benjamin Franklinís speeches was provided by a group of American visitors in 1910.
Ecton Hall, which until recent times had been allowed to fall into a ruinous state, has now been restored to its former glory, and converted into luxury flats, with splendid views over the Nene valley.
Ecton House, the former rectory, standing in large grounds opposite the church has been used as religious retreat and conference centre for a number of years, but its future seems to be in some doubt as the property is now to be sold.
Although the shops have now closed the village still boasts two watering holes, The Worlds end an upmarket establishment on the A 4500 and the Three Horseshoes in the High Street.
Ecton village web site - www.ectonvillage.co.uk/