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28 October 2014
Legacies - Kent

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Hop picking
Around the hop bin

© Hop Farm Country Park, Kent
The hoppers of Kent

For a period of around 200 years, Kent was the destination of a mass migration of humanity. From the early 1700s until World War II, every September, the unemployed and destitute of London and other emerging cities, traipsed into Kent’s hop gardens to harvest the crop which forms the basis of Britain’s favourite tipple: beer.

This mobile labour force brought with it social problems that were largely ignored until the unhappy plight of these workers came to the attention of various religious organisations. The appalling conditions of the ‘hoppers of Kent’ are proof that poverty in Victorian England was not restricted to urban areas. More...

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Look back into the past using the Legacies' archives. Find nearly 200 tales from around the country in our collection.

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