There are several possible explanations for the origins of the name “Eaton”. The word-ending “ton” indicates Saxon beginnings and is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word “tun” meaning a farm or small settlement. The complete word “Eaton” is thought to indicate an estate by a river, or perhaps from “Egton”, a bend in a river.
There is evidence of the village being occupied since 1200 initially by the Praer family. The records then pick up again and are dominated by the major landowner in the area the Eaton Hall Estate. The main house was rebuilt several times in its history until it was demolished in 1980 to make way for a major sand quarry. This is presently owned and worked by Tarmac Lafarge, yielding valuable silica sands and is still expanding.
The beginning of the Eighteenth century saw the rise of industry away from what we regard now as the centre of the village to the other side of the River Dane at Havannah. Charles Roe the industrialist from Macclesfield established mills and associated workers cottages based on the used of water power from the River Dane. The settlement prospered until the twentieth century when Havannah declined and many of the houses disappeared, together with the old mill buildings. Today, most signs of the former industrial activity have disappeared and has recently been replaced with improved access and modern housing.
In the meantime, the village as we know it today remained small with a few farms, and cottages at Putty Row, Brookside and the beginning of School Lane.The oldest buildings associated with the village are the timber-frame structures of Church House, Yew Tree Farm and the Plough Inn. More recent expansion of the village occurred in the 1950s and 1960s along School Lane, Beechwood Drive and Crauford Road.
In the 1650’s a Quaker burial ground was established by the Friends beside what is now School Lane. A wall was later built around the burial ground which is now in private hands as a garden.
Prior to the opening of the Eaton National School in the middle of the nineteenth century, a dame school existed in the grounds of Pear Tree Cottage. The Antrobus family, owners of the Eaton Hall Estate, were behind the establishment of the National School which served the village until 1969 when it became a private house with pupils now going to the more recent Marton School.