The Domesday Book records that in 1086 Robert D’Oyly held a manor of eight hides at Bletchingdon and his tenant was a man named Gilbert. Gilbert was an ancestor of Roger d’Amory, who was Lord of the Manor of Bletchingdon until he died in prison in 1322.
In about 1139 Robert d’Amory gave 50 acres at Bletchingdon to Godstow Abbey and Walter Pery also gave them one yardland and 10 acres. Godstow retained this estate until it surrendered all its property to the Crown at the Dissolution in 1539.
By 1187 Ralph d’Amory granted two virgates at Bletchingdon to Osney Abbey. In the 13th century other benefactors gave lands at Bletchingdon to the abbey, and in 1291 they were assessed as part of its Hampton Gay estate.
In 1622 Bletchingdon’s common lands – about 500 acres of arable land and about 600 acres of heath – were enclosed by agreement between the Lord of the Manor, the Rector and the tenants. This is the earliest recorded instance of enclosure in Oxfordshire by common consent and it predates, by more than a century, the first use of an enclosure act in Oxfordshire, which was at Mixbury in 1729.
The village was originally built around three sides of a triangular green, but the houses on the north side were pulled down when Bletchingdon Park was extended. The present house at Bletchingdon Park is a Palladian country house that was designed by James Lewis and built in 1782 for Arthur Annesley, 5th Earl of Anglesey. It was built to replace Bletchingdon’s medieval manor house, which itself had been rebuilt by Sir Thomas Coghill in about 1630. The medieval house was fortified and garrisoned by 200 Royalist troops in the Civil War before being surrendered to Parliamentarian troops in 1645. John Coghill sold it to Viscount Valentia, the ancestor of Arthur Annesley, in 1716.
The estate remained in the Valentia family until 1948, when Lord Valentia sold it to the Hon. William Astor who, in turn, sold it in 1953 to the Hon. Robin Cayzer, later Baron Rotherwick. In 1990 it was bought by Dateline entrepreneur John Patterson who then sold it on and moved to Chesterton Manor. In 1993 Dr. Michael Peagram, a chemicals industrialist and philanthropist, bought the estate and had the house historically restored. But in 2012 the 22,600-square-foot house went on the market again, this time for £20 million.
The parish church of Saint Giles includes traces of Norman architecture. Its Early English Gothic chancel was built in the 13th century. Charles Buckeridge designed the north aisle, which was added in 1869. Then the church was heavily restored to Buckeridge’s designs in 1878.
The west tower has a ring of six bells. Robert and William Cor, of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, cast the tenor bell in 1710. Edward Hemins, of Bicester, cast the second bell in 1738. Matthew Bagley, of Chacombe, Northamptonshire, cast the fifth bell in 1774. James Barwell, of Birmingham, cast the third and fourth bells in 1877. And the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the treble bell in 1998. The church has a Sanctus bell, also cast by James Barwell in 1877.
The parish of Bletchingdon also includes the hamlet of Enslow, just over 1 mile west of the village. In 1788 the Oxford Canal reached Enslow, bringing much cheaper coal from the English Midlands to the area. And in 1845, when the Oxford and Rugby Railway was built through Enslow, Bletchingdon railway station was built there. British Railways later closed the station in 1964.