Enstone Parish, Oxfordshire

Including: Church Enstone, Neat Enstone, Chalford, Cleveley, Gagingwell, Lidstone and Radford

Born here:

Thomas Cross (1730), Richard (Barnet) Cross (1828), Noah Cross (1831), Elijah Cross (1833), Lot Cross (1837)

Married here:

Zachariah Cross to Mary Ann Cross (1845)

Died here:

Eunice Cross (nee Ward)(1853)

Enstone today:

Enstone is a village and civil parish ( unit of local governent in the UK) situated in the county of Oxfordshire, north-west of the city of Oxford. It is the largest parish in Oxfordshire and takes its name from a neolithic burial site, a standing stone just off the Charlbury Road known as the "Ent Stone". The parish comprises a number of villages: the larger villages of Church Enstone and Neat Enstone (commonly referred to just as Enstone) and the smaller villages of Chalford, Cleveley, Gagingwell, Lidstone, and Radford.

It lies on the very eastern extremities of the picturesque Cotswold Hills astride the Glyme Valley. It is also at the midway point of the A44 Trunk Road between Woodstock and Chipping Norton.

The parish church is dedicated to Saint Kenelm, "the Cotswold Saint", and contains a stained glass window by William Morris.

Enstone is a thriving working village with two pubs (the Harrow at Neat Enstone and the Crown at Church Enstone), a junior school, a retirement home, a Post Office and general stores.

Enstone Airfield to the north west of Church Enstone is a former RAF station, now used as a civilian airfield for light aircraft and gliders, and the site of an industrial estate. Enstone is also the home of the Renault F1 motor racing team which is based at Whiteways Technical Centre in a converted quarry site. There are also football and cricket teams that perform well in local leagues and competitions. It is in the electoral constituency of Witney.1

Enstone in 1850:

The following is an extract taken from from Gardner's History, Gazetteer & Directory for Oxfordshire (England), 1852.2

Enstone parish comprises the hamlets of Chalford, Cleveley (or Clevely), Enstone-church, Enstone-Neat, Gagingwell, Lidstone, and Radford. Its area is 4,850 acres; the rateable value is £8,280; the amount of assessed property is £6,856; and the population in 1831, was 1,172; and in 1841, 1,121 souls. The chief proprietors of the soil are viscount Dillon (the lord of the manor); Oriel college, Oxford; Mr. John Jolly; Christchurch college, Oxford, James Banting Esq.; Rev. E. Marshall; Mr. Nathaniel Parsons, and Mr. Philip Hickin. The soil is chiefly a stone brash, and about two thirds of this parish is ploughed land.

Church Enstone, the principal village, stands on a slight eminence near the river Glyme, about 15 miles N.W. from Oxford.

The Church, dedicated to St. Kenelm, is a very ancient edifice consisting of nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and a tower in which are six bells. The doorway is handsome, and there are some very good transition Norman piers and arches in the interior, and several other remarkable antiquities - as an original altar, reredos, part of the rood loft, &c. The living consists of a rectory and vicarage, in the deanery of Chipping Norton. The patronage is vested in the lord of the manor, and the present incumbent is the Rev. John Jordan, M.A. It is valued in the king's books at £9. 14s. 4d. The rectorial tithes, the property of Christ Church college, were commuted for a rent charge of £1,244.; besides which, there are 53 acres of glebe. The vicarial tithes, for a rent charge of £309; and there are 25 acres of vicarial glebe.

The Vicarage House is a plain building S.E. of the church. The rectorial glebe is famous for its large granary or barn, which according to a latin inscription on it, was built in 1382 by Walter Wenforton, abbot of Winchombe at the petition of Robert Manor, bailiff of this place.

The National School, erected in 1836 is supported by subscription.

Neat Enstone, or Road Enstone is a hamlet distant about half a mile south of Church Enstone. It is called Neat Enstone from the herds of neat cattle that were formerly depastured on its open fields and commons; and it derives the name of Road Enstone from the circumstance of the high road to Birmingham and Worcester running through it. Church Enstone and Neat Enstone are partly united by some new houses, which have been recently erected between them. Some famous water works were recently destroyed here, originally constructed by Thomas Bushel, servant to lord Bacon, and which were visited with much pomp by Charles I and his queen, while resident in the neighbourhood in 1636. There is a small Methodist Chapel at the latter village, erected in 1811. The population of Church Enstone in 1841 was 237; and that of Neat Enstone 378 souls.

Chafford hamlet consists of 3 farm houses, a bone mill and 10 cottages, situate about 3 miles W. of Enstone, and 3 East South East of Chipping Norton.

Clevely hamlet which stands one mile S.E. from Enstone, consists of a public house, two corn mills, and a few cottages. The Baptists have a place of worship here.

Gaginwell is a hamlet of three farm houses, a public house, and a few cottages. It is distant one and a half miles east of Enstone. In the centre of this hamlet is a very old stone cross.

Lidstone hamlet is situate in a valley, near the river Glyme, about 3 miles E.S.E. of Chipping Norton. It consists of 8 farm houses, a corn mill, and about 20 cottages.

Radford is similar in size to to the last mentioned hamlet, and stands about two and a half miles east of Enstone, and 5 N.W. of Woodstock. Here is a small Catholic Chapel, erected in 1841; also a residence for the priest, and a school for boys and girls all of whom are taught free. The Rev. Edward Walter Winter is the present pastor.

There is an estate for charitable uses belonging to this parish, which with Martin's charity yields above £140. per annum. This charity is of a very ancient date.

Other links of interest:

BBC Oxford's walking trail between Chipping Norton and Woodstock is a path through the past. It follows a valley known to princes, soldiers, a poet laureate and England's greatest gardener. Check out the BBC's wonderful celebration of the Glyme Valley Way walking trail through the Enstone area.


This page last modified 23 December 2009.
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Dan Cross: dcross@slingshot.co.nz Ph: (09) 6290052