According to Eilert Ekwall, the meaning of the village name is place where box grow. The Domesday Book records the population of Boxted in 1086 to be 25 and its name to have been "Boesteda". According to the 2001 census it had a population of 107.
The village is unusual in that both pubs (apparently open concurrently) had the same name.
The parish includes the hamlet of Fenstead End.