Enslow is a small hamlet on the banks of the River Cherwell and the Oxford Canal. It lies within the Parish of Bletchingdon where the medieval road linking London with Chipping Norton crossed the Cherwell.

There was a bridge there by the time that John Leland toured England in 1538–43. John Ogilby’s Britannia Atlas of 1675 records a timber bridge that he called “Emley Bridg”.

In 1718 the road was made into a turnpike, and at some stage the timber bridge was replaced with a stone one of pointed arches. In 1814 the stone bridge was widened on its downstream side to almost double its former width. In contrast with the older upstream side of the bridge, the 1814 arches are rounded.

Enslow had a water mill that was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086, and again in 1340 and in the 17th and 18th centuries. The arrival of the Oxford Canal led to the building of a wharf and associated buildings in 1788. Early in the 19th century the Rock of Gibraltar public house was built to serve the trade on and around the wharf.

Bletchingdon Railway Station - 1961.
Bletchingdon Railway Station - 1961

From 1845 the Oxford and Rugby Railway ran through the hamlet and in 1850 Bletchington railway station was built there. British Railways closed the station in 1964 but the line remains open as part of the Cherwell Valley Line.

Enslow Hill, currently the site of a quarry, is thought to have been identical with the Spelleburge (Old English for “Speech Hill”) recorded as a traditional meeting place for the Ploughley Hundred in Anglo-Saxon times. In 1596 the hill was the site of the unsuccessful Oxfordshire Rising over enclosures of common land.