The village is best known for Elsenham Jam, which was produced on the Elsenham estate of Sir Walter Gilbey, and marketed with the slogan, "the most expensive jam in the world". Elsenham Jam is no longer produced in Elsenham, the company having moved to Wales.
The parish was part of the Stansted Rural District from 1894 until 1934 when it was abolished. It was then transferred into Saffron Walden Rural District. Since 1974 it has been located in the Uttlesford District of Essex.