About

This blog – Life in the Floodplain – is about Oxford, as I came to know it in new ways during the lockdown period 2020.

I am a historian, recently retired from an Oxford college tutorial fellowship. I’ve lived in Iffley Fields since 1986, that is, for over 30 years. But in the early months of 2020, I started exploring and reflecting on the open spaces around me in ways that I had never done before.

These posts explore what I learned and experienced, especially in and around the Oxford floodplain.

I composed the first 39 posts between May and July 2020, writing them at the rate of about three a week. That first sequence ended with thanks, notes on my sources and other kinds of round up. Since then, I’ve continued to add to the blog in a more desultory way. The second sequence begins with the 40th post: ‘Afterthought: geomorphology’. I also continue to tinker with the whole set of posts, correcting errors when I find them and adding new information or photos when I think they’re germane.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello, I love your research. I am currently doing a project on osney island however i cannot find the map you used on the website nls maps. Please can you direct me to the map you used for osney island as I can not find it just being a mill.

    Kind regards an architect student

    1. Or maybe you want the 1830s OS map of Oxford, which isn’t in NLS, but can be found here https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps/ You click on the area you want on the big map, and then click on Ordnance Survey First Series, which will take you to two zoomable maps of Oxford. This link might work to get you there https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/maps/series?xCenter=3256640&yCenter=2826688&scale=63360&viewScale=362834.8416&mapLayer=nineteenth&subLayer=first_edition&title=Ordnance%20Survey%20and%20Ordnance%20Survey%20of%20Scotland%20First%20Series&download=true

      1. I was sent a link to the blog on Marston. I am current Chair of New Marston Residents’ Association representing the roads around Ferry, Edgeway, Hugh Allen etc. We tend to be a reactive group although I am currently trying to build a more proactive approach especially towards the meadows in the flood plain which still carry the ridge and furrow palimpsest. We are currently seeking to get Oxford City Council to take proper care of this heritage asset, given their recent effort to take more green belt and here and build in the flood plain. I liked your piece although it says nothing about the extensive SSSI and the rare flora here. If you want to know more let me know.
        Dr. Roy Darke

      2. Thanks for the comment and offer. The blog is very water-centred, hence the skew in this post. There are also posts on flora and fauna, esp when water-related, but even more amateurish, as I’ve tried to teach myself the basics during lockdown. I had a previous general post on floodmeadows — https://jminnes.wordpress.com/2020/05/27/meadows/ –, which talked about SSSIs, and I read more about flora in that connection – with interest, but the detail doesn’t mean much to me. I collected a couple of Marston-Meadow-specific pdfs, Judith Webb’s report to the rare plant group and one on Marston Meadows and their hedges ,so that’s probably already more information than I can easily take in. If you were ever organising some kind of educational walk-around in the meadows, I’d certainly be interested in that! Yes, when I looked at lidarfinder.com/ the other day, I was struck by all the visible ridge and furrow in these meadows — and indeed saw some on the ground up towards the Victoria Arms on a recent walk. There’s a lot of it around Oxford.

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