The village's name was defined by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, in The Meaning of Liff as the name of the letter "n" when used in place of the word "and", as in "bangers 'n' mash" or "fish 'n' chips".
The settlement was recorded in Domesday as "Nechetuna" or "Nachetuna". According to the parish council website, it was originally close to the church, but the settlement moved to its present location in 1850. The reason for the move isn't mentioned.
The parish was once home of the Woodbridge Union Workhouse which used to house up to 810 inmates. A memorial stone in the Paupers' Graveyard (opposite the site of the Workhouse) tells us that "This enclosure was used as a burial ground for Nacton Workhouse from 1792 to 1899". See the gallery for a photograph. Amberfield School (which closed in 2011) was built on the site of the Workhouse.
The parish is also home to two beautiful houses overlooking the river Orwell - Broke Hall (once home to Philip Broke, captain of Shannon, a frigate that distinguished itself against the US Chesapeake in 1813) - and Orwell Park (once home to Admiral Vernon and later George Tomline but today, still with its fine observatory, used as a private school).
Alnesbourne Priory Barn/Clubhouse held an on-sales (members only) license from 1962 to at least 1969. Licensees were George Henry Buckingham (1962-1963) and Ada Buckingham (1963-69)