The origin of oats is uncertain, possibly coming from Western Europe.
It was eaten during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages but was not cultivated
until about 1,000 BC in Europe. It thrives best under colder and
damper conditions than those tolerated by wheat or barley.
Oats was once a major cereal in Britain, most being used for feeding
horses. However, with the loss of the farm horse, the quantity grown
has decreased. It is still cultivated in Northern England and Scotland
and is used for porridge oats, oat cakes and oat meal. It is not
suitable for bread making.