Eaton Socon is a district of St Neots in Cambridgeshire, England. It was originally a village in Bedfordshire, along with the neighbouring village of Eaton Ford, but officially became part of the town in 1965. Eaton Socon changed relatively little until this time, but on its inclusion into Cambridgeshire a significant amount of development took place to the west of the village into the 1980s, with areas covering Monarch Road and the upper end of Nelson Road being developed in a particularly short space of time. The population of Eaton Socon is around 5000 people.
The village is mentioned as “Eaton” in the Domesday Book, when the manor belonged to Eudo Dapfier. In the 13th century the village became a “Soke”, which meant it was independent of the local Hundred Court at Barford. In time, “Soke” became “Socon”. The village was also previously known as “Sudbury”.
Eaton Socon lies close to the west bank of the River Great Ouse. There is a weir (constructed in 1967) and associated lock gatesto allow river navigation. The riverbank is home to a popular local inn, The River Mill Tavern. Nearby are the remains of Eaton Socon Castle. The parish church, St Mary’s, stands on the picturesque green in the centre of the village. It burned down in the 1930s after a fire started in the organ, but was completely rebuilt in the original style soon after.
The centre of Eaton Socon is characterised by small thatched cottages along the Great North Road and side roads such as Peppercorns Lane and School Lane. Great North Road is lined with a number of local business premises. The White Horse pub dates back to the 13th Century, was a Royal Mail staging post and is mentioned by Charles Dickens in Nicholas Nickleby. The village retains a great deal of atmosphere and traditional May Day celebrations are still held every year on the green.
The A1 passed through the village along the Great North Road until the Eaton Socon bypass opened in 1971. A second bypasswas opened in 1985 to enable traffic travelling between the A1 and Cambridge to avoid Eaton Socon, Eaton Ford and St Neots.
For details of Eaton Socon’s history, see the article History of St Neots