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History of Britain - timeline and facts









Thousands of years ago, Great Britain was joined to Europe and was covered with ice. About 15,000 years ago, the weather became warmer. The ice melted and the sea level rose. Great Britain became an island about 8000 years ago.

Celtic people called Britons settles in Britain. They were warriors and farmers who were skilled metal workers. They built villages and hill forts, and used iron weapons and tools. Celts called Gaels lived in Ireland.

Prehistoric Britain BC Roman Britain 43 AD Anglo Saxon Britain 450
Viking Britain 793 Medieval Britain 1066 Tudor Britain 1485
Stuart Britain 1603 Georgian Britain 1714 Victorian Britain 1837
Modern Britain 1902 +

King and Queens of England

Romans
Saxons
Vikings
Normans
Tudors
Victorians
WW ll
Roman Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
43
450
793
1066
1485
1837
1939
Prehistoric Britain

The first men and women came to Britain over two and a half million years ago. They were hunters and gatherers of food who used simple stone tools and weapons.

BC
Britain
Abroad
500,000 People migrate to Britain from Europe.  
6500 The land bridge joining Britain to Europe is flooded as the sea level rises. Britain becomes an Island.  
3000 New Stone Age begins: farming people arrive from Europe.  
3000 First stone circles erected.  
2100 Bronze Age begins  
2150 People learn to make bronze weapons and tools  
2000 stonehengeStonehenge completed  
1650 Trade routes begin to form  
1200 Small Villages are first formed  
750 Iron Age begins: iron replaces bronze as most useful metal.
Population about 150,000.
 
500 The Celtic people arrive from Central Europe.
The Celts were farmers and lived in small village groups in the centre of their arable fields. They were also warlike people. The Celts fought against the people of Britain and other Celtic tribes.
 

Romans
Saxons
Vikings
Normans
Tudors
Victorians
WW ll
Roman Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
43
450
793
1066
1485
1837
1939
Roman Britain

romans

The Romans were the first to invade us and came to Britain nearly 2000 years ago. They changed our country. The Roman Empire made its mark on Britain, and even today, the ruins of Roman buildings, forts, roads, and baths can be found all over Britain.

Britain was part of the Roman Empire for almost 400 years!

By the time the Roman armies left around 410 AD, they had established medical practice, a language of administration and law and had created great public buildings and roads.

Many English words are derived from the latin language of the Romans.
Click here to find out more about the Romans in Britain.

Britain
Abroad
55 BC Julius Caesar heads first Roman Invasion but later withdraws  
44 BC   44 BC Julius Caesar is murdered in Rome
AD
30   30 Jesus Crucified
43
italy flag Romans invade and Britain becomes part of the Roman Empire  
50 London Founded  
61 Boadicea leads the Iceni in revolt against the Romans  
70 Romans conquer welsh flag Wales and the North  
  76 The Emperor Hadrian is born
80   80 The Colosseum of Rome completed
122 - 128 Emperor Hadrian builds a wall on the Scottish Border  
140 Romans conquer scottish flag Scotland  
209 St Alban becomes the 1st Christian martyr  
306 Constantine the Great declared Emperor at York  
350 The Picts and Scots attack the border  
401 - 410 The Romans withdraw from Britain: Anglo Saxons migrants begin to Settle  
Click here for Information on the Romans

Romans
Saxons
Vikings
Normans
Tudors
Victorians
WW ll
Roman Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
43
450
793
1066
1485
1837
1939
Anglo-Saxon Britain

The Roman army left Britain about AD 410. When they had gone there was no strong army to defend Britain, and tribes called the Angle, Saxon, and Jute (the Anglo-Saxons) invaded. They left their homelands in northern german flag Germany, danish flag Denmark and northern netherlands flag Holland and rowed across the North Sea in wooden boats.

saxons

The Anglo-Saxons ruled most of Britain but never conquered cornwall flag Cornwall in the south-west, welsh flag Wales in the west, or scottish flag Scotland in the north. They divided the country into kingdoms.

Missionaries from Roman spread Christianity across southern Britain.
Read more about the Saxons on our Homework Help pages

450 - 750 Invasion of the Jutes from Jutland, Angles from South of Denmark and Saxons from Germany.
Britain is divided up into the Seven Kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, Essex, Sussex and Kent.
450 Saxons Hengist and Horsa settle in Kent.
460 St Patrick returns to convert Ireland
510 The Battle of Mount Badon: British victory over the Saxons
597 St Augustine brings Christianity to Britain from Rome and becomes Archbishop of Canterbury
617 Northumbria becomes the Supreme Kingdom
779 Mercia becomes the Supreme Kingdom and King Offa builds a Dyke along the Welsh Border
Click here for Information on the Saxons

Romans
Saxons
Vikings
Normans
Tudors
Victorians
WW ll
Roman Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
43
450
793
1066
1485
1837
1939
 
Viking Britain

The danish flag Viking Age in Britain began about 1,200 years ago in the 8th Century AD and lasted for 300 years.

Read more ....

793 First invasion by the Vikings
821 Wessex becomes the Supreme Kingdom
866 - 77 Invasion of the Great danish flag Danish (Viking) Army.
867 The Vikings take Northumbria
871 King Alfred defeats the Vikings but allows them to settle in Eastern England
886 The North subjected to the Danelaw, the rules of the Vikings
889 The Anglo Saxon Chronicle starts
926 Eastern England (Danelaw) is conquered by the Saxons
1016 King Canute of Denmark captures the English Crown
1042 Edward the Confessor becomes King
1055 Westminster Abbey is completed
Click here for Information on the Vikings

Romans
Saxons
Vikings
Normans
Tudors
Victorians
WW ll
Roman Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
43
450
793
1066
1485
1837
1939
The Middle Ages - Medieval Britain (Normans)

The Middle Ages in Britain cover a huge period. They take us from the shock of the french flag Norman Conquest, which began in 1066, to the devasting Black Death of 1348, the Hundred Years' War with France and the War of the Roses, which finally ended in 1485.
The Normans built impressive castles, imposed a feudal system and carried out a census of the country.

Bayeaux tapestrycastle

1066 The Battle of Stamford Bridge:
Saxon victory over invading Vikings
1066 The Battle of Hastings: The invading Normans defeat the Saxons
William of Normandy defeats Harold with a lucky shot and becomes King of England - Norman Conquest
1070 Work starts on Canterbury Cathedral
1078 Work starts on The Tower of London
1080 - 1100 Great monastery and cathedral building begins
1086 The Domesday Book is compiled, a complete inventory of Britain
1154 Work starts on York Minster
1167 Oxford University Founded
1170 Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Becket is murdered by the knights of Henry II
1170 Population of London exceeds 30,000 for the first time
1174 Work starts on Wells Cathedral
1215 Civil War
1215 The Magna Carta is signed by King John
1220 Work starts on Salisbury
1282 - 1283 King Edward conquers welsh flag Wales. Llewellyn ab Gruffydd, the country's last prince is killed
1296 King Edward invades scottish flag Scotland and takes the Stone of Destiny from Scone to Westminster
1297 The Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Scots under William Wallace defeat the English
1298 The Battle of Falkirk. King Edward defeats Wallace.
1306 Robert Bruce crowned King of the scottish flagScots
1314 Scots led by Robert the Bruce defeat the English at the battle of Bannockburn
1321-22 Civil War
1337 King Edward claims the Throne of french flag France
1337 - 1453 Hundred Years' War with french flag France
1348 - 49 The Black Death (bubonic plague) arrived in England flag England and killed nearly half of the population
1387 Geoffrey Chaucer starts writing the Canterbury Tales
1415 English defeat the French at the battle of Agincourt
1453 The Hundred Years War against french flag France ends
1455 Civil War: The War of the Roses starts
Click here for Information on the Normans

Romans
Saxons
Vikings
Normans
Tudors
Victorians
WW ll
Roman Britain
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
43
450
793
1066
1485
1837
1939
Tudor Britain

HenryThe Tudors were a Welsh-English family that ruled England from 1485 to 1603 - one of the most exciting periods of British history. Henry VIII's matrimonial difficulties led to the split with Catholicism. Henry made himself head of the Church of England.
Read more about Tudor Britain....

1485 The War of the Roses ends at the Battle of Bosworth. Henry Vll crowned king.
1497 John Cabot sails from Bristol aboard the 'Matthew' and discovers North America
1509 - 1547 Henry Vlll succeeds to the throne
1513 English defeat the Scots at the Battle of Flodden
1534 Henry VIII forms the 'Church of England'. Henry is confirmed as 'Supreme Head of the Church of England 'following a parliamentary Act of Supremacy
1536 Act of Union joins England and Wales
1536 - 39 Destruction or closure of 560 monasteries and religious houses
1542 Mary, Queen of Scots lays claim to the English throne
1558 Elizabeth I begins her 45 year reign
1570 Sir Francis Drake sets sail for his first voyage to the West Indies
1587 Queen Elizabeth I executes Mary, Queen of Scots
1588 The English defeat the Spanish Armada
1591 First performance of a play by William Shakespeare
1600 First British involvement in the Indian continent - East India Company formed.
Population of Britain just over 4 million
Click here for Information on the Tudors

 

Stuart Britain
The Stuarts had ruled Scotland since 1371, but James VI of scottish flag Scotland was the first Stuart king of England flag England.
1603 James VI of scottish flag Scotland becomes James I of England flag England uniting the two kingdoms
1605 Guy Fawkes is thwarted when he tries to blow up Parliament.
1606 The Union Flag adopted as the National Flag
1620 The Pilgrim Fathers set sail for New England from Plymouth, aboard the 'Mayflower'
1624-30 War with spanish flag Spain
1626-9 War with french flag France
1629 Parliament dissolved by King Charles
1642 - 1651 Civil War
1649 King Charles executed
1649-1650 Cromwell's conquest of irish flag Ireland
1650 - 1652 Cromwell's conquest of scottish flag Scotland
1652 Tea arrives in Britain Union Flag
1653 Cromwell proclaimed Lord Protector
1660 Restoration of the Monarchy under King Charles II
1664-1665 The Great Plague breaks out and up to 100,000 people die in London
1666 Great Fire of London
1689 English Bill of rights 1689
From now on England's monarchs would rule in partnership with Parliament. All Catholics barred from the English throne.
1692 William III massacres the Jacobites at Glencoe
1707 Act of Union between scottish flag Scotland and England flag England. The Scottish parliament was dissolved and England and Scotland became one country.

 

Georgian Britain
In 1714 the British throne passed to a german flag German family, the Hanoverians.
1714 George of Hanover, german flag Germany succeeds Queen Anne to the Throne
1721 Sir Robert Walpole becomes the first Prime Minister
1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie is defeated at the Battle of Culloden
1757 First canal in Britain is completed
1776 America declares independence from Britain

 1780's

Industrial Revolution Begins
1783 Steam powered cotton mill invented by Sir Richard Arkwright
1788 First convict ships are sent to Australia

 1796

Edward Jenner invented a vaccination against small pox
1800
Act of Union with irish flag Ireland

 1801

The first census. Population of Britain 8 million
Ireland made part of the United Kingdom

 1804

 Richard Trevithick built the first steam locomotive
1805 Lord Nelson defeats Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar
1807 Abolition of Slave Trade
1815 Duke of Wellington defeats Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo
1825 World's first railway opens between Stockton and Darlington

 1829

Robert Peel set up the Metropolitan Police force

 1834

The Poor Law set up workhouses, where people without homes or jobs could live in return for doing unpaid work.

Romans
Saxons
Vikings
Normans
Tudors
Victorians
WW ll
Roman Britan
Saxon Britain
Viking Britain
Norman Britain
Tudor Britain
Victorian Britain
World War Two
43
450
793
1066
1485
1837
1939

Victorian Britain

xThe Victorians lived over one hundred and fifty years ago during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 to 1901) and was a time of enormous change in this country. In 1837 most people lived in villages and worked on the land; by 1901, most lived in towns and worked in offices, shops and factories. Read more .....

Victorian School

1837 Queen Victoria becomes Queen at the age of 18
1840
The first postage stamps (Penny Post) came into use
1842
Mines Act ended child labour
1845 - 1849
Ireland suffered the Great Potato Famine when entire crops of potatoes, the staple Irish food, were ruined. The famine was a consequence of the appearance of blight, the potato fungus. About 800,000 people died as a result of the famine. A large number of people migrated to Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.

1850s

The first post boxes were built
1851 The Great Exhibition
Census showed just over half of Britain's population (of 20 million) lived in towns
1854
Crimean War
1854
A cholera epidemic led to demands for a clean water supply and proper sewage systems in the big cities
1856 Union Flag Britain defeats russia flagRussia in the Crimean War
1860 The first public flushing toilet opens
1861 Death of Prince Albert
1863 London Underground opens
The foundation of the Football Association
1868
Joseph Lister discovers disinfectant

1868

The last public hanging

1869

The first Sainsbury's shop open in Dury Lane, London
1870
Education Act means school for everyone
1871
Queen Victoria opens the Albert Hall
1876
Alexander Bell invented the telephone
Primary education was made compulsory
1877
The first public electric lighting in London
1883
First electric railway

1887

 The invention of the gramophone
1891 Free education for every child
1901 Population of Britain 40 million
Click here for Information on the Victorian

 

Modern Britain
1902 Britain defeats Dutch settlers in Boer War in South Africa

 1902

The first old age pension

 1914 - 1918

First World War
Compulsory military service and food rationing introduced

1920 

Republic of Ireland gains independence
1937 Sir Frank Whittle invents the Jet Engine
1939 - 1945 The Second World War
1951
Festival of Union Flag Britain
1952
Elizabeth II becomes Queen

1953

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
1973 Britain joins the European Community
1979 Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain's first woman prime minister
1982 Falklands War
1991 Gulf War
1991 Sir Tim Berners Lee invents the World Wide Web
1994 Channel Tunnel links Britain back to the European continent

1999 

welsh flag Welsh national assembly and scottish flag Scottish parliament
2003
The Second Gulf War
2003
England Wins the Rugby World Cup

 

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites projectbritain.com and primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.