A Timeline of food in Britain
Since the Neolithic period, many types of food have become available to people living in the British Isles. The Romans brought a variety of exotic foods, and European exploration of other parts of the world led to imports of new foodstuffs such as potatoes, tomatoes, sugar and chocolate.
Use this timeline to find out when different foods became widely available in Britain.
Hunter-gatherers would have exploited the huge range of edible species that are native to the British Isles. This included hunting wild animals and birds, gathering leaves, roots and fruit from plants, and catching fish and shellfish.
Domestic animals and plants were first brought to the British Isles from the Continent in about 4000 BC, heralding the start of the Neolithic period. As well as keeping domesticated animals such as cattle, pigs and sheep, people were cultivating crops such as wheat and barley.
Find out more
Food and feasting at Stonehenge
Find out what the people who built and used Stonehenge ate, how they cooked and served their food, and the cutting-edge science behind how we know.
Why did we start making cheese?
Dr Penny Bickle explains how Neolithic people were lactose-intolerant and had to process milk in order to digest it properly.
Ancient festive feasts at the time of Stonehenge
Dr Lizzy Wright delves deeper into the archaeological evidence for prehistoric midwinter feasting at Durrington Walls.
History of Stonehenge
Read a full history of one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments, from its origins about 5,000 years ago to the 21st century.