THE KELP HARVEST
Our Kelp is sourced from the Wild Atlantic Ocean which surrounds the Isle of Tiree.
These kelp forests are the fourth largest in Scottish waters and this abundance fuelled the island’s kelp industry.
Seaweed has been used from the earliest times as animal fodder, for medicinal use, for human consumption and as a fertiliser for hay and potatoes.
By the 18th Century, kelp was providing an income for locals who burnt it locally to produce alkalis and in 1863, a factory was built in Middleton where the seaweed was used to produce iodine. The factory, named the ‘Glassary’, closed in 1901 and some of its walls were used to build road and runway foundations in the Second World War.
Tyree was a historical form of spelling for the island while the modern spelling of Tiree first appeared on a map produced by John Cowley in 1734 and then again in a map of Scotland by John & Frederic Tallis in 1851. This historic spelling is displayed on a brass plate, which survives from the Seaweed Factory, engraved with 'NORTH BRITISH CHEMICAL CO. LD. TYREE NO. 1'.
The name was officially changed to Tiree in 1889 to avoid confusion with Tyrie in Aberdeenshire.