Brinklow sits astride the former Roman Fosse Way and is most notable for the remains of a large Norman motte-and-bailey castle (Brinklow Castle, known locally as The Tump or the Big Hill), which is one of the largest and best preserved of its type in England. The castle is believed to be built on the site of an ancient burial mound or Roman signal station, although this has not been confirmed. Brinklow's name may have come from Old English Brincehláw = "burial mound on the brink of a hill" or alternatively perhaps "The Hill of Brynca", an Anglo-Saxon personal name.More likely though the name Brinklow is a combination of the British/Welsh bryn,a hill and the Anglo Saxon hlaw also meaning hill.The name came about when the original Celtic speaking inhabitants were assimilated into Anglo Saxon culture. The meaning of the British word bryn was after some time forgotten causing the Anglo Saxonized inhabitants to add the word hlaw or low to signify a hill. Place names in England which combine both British and Anglo Saxon elements which have the same meaning are quite common. Penhill in Buckinghamshire and Mount Caburn, originally called Caer Bryn, in Lewes East Sussex are both notable examples.
Brinklow is a picturesque village, and contains a 13th-century church, a primary school, and several shops and pubs. Brinklow was established as a market town during the Middle Ages, and was once considerably more important than it is today.
The Oxford Canal was constructed alongside the village in the 1790s and brought renewed trade and prosperity to the village. The village was once served by an arm of the canal, but this is now disused. The village still has links with the canal however with a thriving boatyard/Narrowboat holiday hire company located there on the Oxford canal. The boatyard was started in 1960 at the site of the old lengthmans cottage. The manager was Charles Haslam and he worked for the Maid Line Cruiser company from Thames Ditton, London. The house was renovated by a local building in 1960 but was never more than a very drafty pile with a very damp basement. The old outbuildings were renovated and turned into a small workshop and a waterfront office. The waterfront office was the gathering place for boat owners on a Sunday evening to sit and enjoy the summer air while sharing stories and the odd pint of beer from the railway Inn. I believe it was in 1962 that the slipway was dug and the large boatshed was built on the far side of the canal. The boatyard became a thriving source of income for the local village as boat renters purchased their supplies from the local grocery shop, and various gifts and so forth from the small selection of shops the village had to offer during the 1960s