This talk tells the story of how the people of Oxfordshire responded to the Spanish Civil War. More than thirty went to Spain to fight or as doctors and nurses, whilst thousands more joined in fundraising and awareness-raising campaigns at home. Still others welcomed and housed hundreds of Basque refugees who had fled to Britain to escape the fighting. These events accompanied profound political changes, in Oxford in particular, and the uniting of ‘town’ and ‘gown’ in a popular front never seen before (and perhaps since) in the city.
Gwithian, on the east of St Ives Bay, has revealed evidence of human presence from the Mesolithic to twentieth century tin mining activity, with multiple episodes of settlement and abandonment. Environmental studies can show how the landscape has altered over the millennia, and how climate changes have influenced the phases of occupation. A recent project consisting of a programme of coring, down to 10m depth, as well as one test pit, will be discussed. Numerous different analytical techniques, together with dating on multiple samples, has improved knowledge of the sequence of changes in the river valley from early marsh to major pollution from the upstream tin mining. The siting and timing of human activity can often be related to secular climate change, associated with sand stability/instability.