The UK’s history of hemp goes back to a date far further than most people imagine. Hemp has been a huge player and a crucial role in the country’s formation and growth. Could be said its a leader of men and mind. Starting with humble beginnings to the height of the British Empire. Its uses today are vast and its gradually cropping up in all forms of production and life. With a believed over 10,000 documented uses.
Asia is considered the native origin of hemp. Archaeological digs have however found hemp seeds at both Roman and Saxon sites.
History of Hemp – Notable Era’s
Hemps popularity grew in the 17thcentury, arguably its biggest period of expansion within the UK. At the turn of the 17thcentury the British Navy used hemp as a key material for sails & ropes. This stayed true until the introduction of engine propelled war and trade ships.
Henry VIII, in 1533, was the first reigning monarch to impose a penalty for farmers who did not grow hemp on their land. This was sustained by a later monarch, Queen Elizabeth, whom in 1563 famously decreed that for every 60 acres of land, farmers must provide at least one acre of land for growing hemp. This emphasises the importance of this crop to the nation.
Hampshire is one such country which gives its name to the popularity of hemp. ‘Hamp’ is a direct translation of hemp in several languages. For example, the Swedish word for hemp translates to ‘Hampa’. Germanic, Norse and Dansk also show alternative variations. The county of Hampshire is therefore of significant importance to the British Navy.
On the 28th September 1928, at the end of the Great War, Hemp became illegal. Recently however, Hemp has made a comeback. People are beginning to understand the difference between Industrial Hemp and high THC strains.
Projects which make use of hemp as a building material are marking a resurgence in the UK by providing a more sustainable form of building material with greater thermal properties. Even some of the most popular car manufacturers in Europe use hemp-based materials for the inner linings and heat insulation of their vehicles. These and many other projects in the UK give Hemp a renewed purpose in our modern society which is far more conscious of sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment.
Mind-blowing that such a plant has been revered and vilified in over Millenia. We are lucky enough to be part of something that may portray Hemp in a guiding light for good. If you have something to add, ask or simply want to say hello and be part of the ‘green revolution’ click on Instagram and dm us. Thanks for taking the time