Timeline of British History

  • 700 BCE

    Old Stone Age

    Old Stone Age
    The first men and women came to Britain over two and a half million years ago. As the climate got warmer at the end of the second ice age, tribes of hunters and gatherers of food, who used simple stone tools and weapons, made their way into Britain. It was normal for them to move from place to place so they could find new resources.
  • 500 BCE

    The Celtic people

    The Celtic people
    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.
  • 43

    The Romans

    The Romans
    The Romans 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!
  • 450

    The Anglo-Saxons

    The Anglo-Saxons
    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 Germany, Denmark and northern Holland and rowed across the North Sea in wooden boats.
    The Anglo-Saxons ruled most of Britain but never conquered Cornwall in the south-west, Wales in the west, or Scotland in the north.
    The Anglo-Saxons divided England into several kingdoms.
  • 793


    The Viking Age in Britain began about 1,200 years ago in the 9th Century AD and lasted for just over 200 years.
    About the year 800, bands of fierce raiders began to attack our coasts. They were the Vikings (also called the Danes although they didn't just come from Denmark. See below).
    The Vikings came across the North Sea, just as the Anglo-Saxons had done 400 years earlier.
  • 1066


    The Middle Ages in Britain cover a huge period. They take us from the shock of the 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.
  • 1485

    The Tudors

    The Tudors
    The Tudors were a Welsh-English family that ruled England from 1485 to 1603. They came to power as a result of the victory of Henry VII over Yorkist king Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The Tudor dynasty ended when Henry's grand-daughter Elizabeth I died childless. The Throne passed to their cousins, the Scottish Stuarts, unifying Engalnd and Scotland.
  • The Stuart

    The Stuart
    The Stuart (Stewart) dynasty ruled Scotland (1371 - 1714) and England (1603 - 1714), with an interregnum (1249 - 60). This is the period in British history when a king was executed!
    In 1707, England and Scotland officially became one country - Great Britain
    James II, tried to make England a catholic country again (the religion of his wife) Parliament did not like this and replaced him with Dutch Prostestant King William III who was married to Mary daughter of James II.
  • The Georgians

    The Georgians
    By the Act of Succession of 1701, on the death of Queen Anne the throne passed to her nearest Prostestant relative. This proved to be George, Elector of Hanover german flag, the great-grandson of James I.
    During this period the United Kingdom is created when Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Ireland are formally joined under the Act of Union in 1801.
  • Victorian

    Victoria reigned for more than 60 years, longer than any other British monarch.
    20 June 1837 - 22 January 1901.
    Her reign was a period of significant social, economic and technological change, which saw the expansion of Britain's industrial power and of the British empire.
  • Twentieth Century Britain

    Twentieth Century Britain
    The Second World War, 2 June Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II