Great Famine - 1315 AD to 1317 AD

Geographically this famine was restricted to northern Europe, Russia to Ireland, Scandinavia to the Alps and the Pyrenees. The famine itself came about through a combination of overpopulation and bad weather. The medieval warm period lasted from about the 10th century into the 14th century. This time of high temperatures is believed to be mainly concentrated on the North Atlantic and it brought prosperity and growth in population. However as the weather became more changeable it was only a short time before the lack of long term provisions brought the spectre of famine back in a big way.

A wet spring in 1315 AD made it impossible to plough the fields and heavy rains rotted a lot of the seed grain before it could germinate. It is believed that the death toll in 1315 AD was relatively light but it left people in a weaker state with very little food in reserve. The spring and summer of 1316 AD were cold and wet and so it steadily worsened until the spring of 1317 AD. By this time starvation was wide spread and many people were dead. Although the summer of 1317 AD returned to more normal weather it was not until 1325 AD that Europe had fully recovered from this dreadful famine.