The village of Cotton lies to the south of the old Hartismere Hundred. It was known as Cottuna at the time of the Doomsday Book and is notable for its large number of moated sites, although not all of these are occupied by buildings. Two have a long history, Hempnalls Hall and Cotton Hall and feature in the famous ‘Parsons Letter’ of the fifteenth century. Cotton Lodge, built C. 1580, was reputedly used as a meeting place by the conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot. One of the main conspirators was Ambrose Rokewood, a Suffolk man of Coldham Hall, who was executed on Tower Hill for his part in the plot.
St Andrews Church dates from the fourteenth century and is a fine example of the decorated architecture of that period. It is notable for its fine hammer beam roof, the open bell tower and a magnificent carved South doorway.
The Village Hall, built on land donated to the village, has been enlarged and improved over the years. It is a popular venue for both public and private events. Many of the local organisations hold meetings and activities there.