Saturday, 23 December 2017

Enslow Wharf

The canals faced increasing competition and in many cases being eclipsed by railway companies in the 19th century and beyond. One new lease of life for the canals in latter years though were the transhipment whaves where goods were taken to/from railheads to businesses situated along the canals. The Birmingham Canal Navigations had many of these but the Oxford Canal had only one, at Enslow Wharf in Oxfordshire [1].

The Great Western Railway had a goods yard at Bletchingdon next to Enslow Wharf, a major trade being with the Oxford Cement Company at Kirtlington. The company had no rail or road access so everything had to be taken by boat, much of it taken to Enslow Wharf for transfer to rail. A steady trade in the early 20th century. The goods yard (closing in 1965), cement company, even the station have gone though the canal and railway line remain.

[1] Hugh Compton, The Oxford Canal (David and Charles, 1976) p. 135