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British Timelines Through History

Pauline Kenny

When you are in England, you will find many things are referred to by the name of the time period instead of the year. For example, a house is Georgian, instead of the house is from the 18th century. For me this is really confusing! Many of these time periods are named for the family of monarchs who ruled during the time.

I made this list of the British Timeline and when I see it in print I realize it is not so confusing as all that. These notes are brief and the resources listed below and a good history book will give you many more details.

PatrickLondon from the message board added some comments to the original timeline I came up with. They are included below.

  • Neolithic and Bronze Ages, 8300 - 751 BC: This was when Stonehenge and the other stone circles were created. You can visit the remains of these stone circles today.
  • Iron Age, 750 BC - AD 42
  • Romano Britain, AD 43 - 409: When the Romans came to Britain and set up many of the cities that are still there today. You will find Roman ruins throughout England.
  • Invaders, 410 - 1065: Also called the Anglo-Saxon time, after the Romans left and England was invaded by others, including the Vikings.
  • Anglo-Normans, 1066 - 1215: After the Battle of Hastings in 1066 four Norman kings ruled the country. The Domesday Book, a record of English land-holding, was published during this time.
    - PatrickLondon: In the later Norman period (under Henry II and his sons, from 1159 - 1215), England was part of a much larger Empire (the "Angevin") encompassing large parts of modern France.
  • The Middle Ages, 1216 - 1347
  • Late Medieval, 1348 - 1484
    - PatrickLondon: I'd add to the Medieval and later Middle Ages that the dynasty was known as Plantagenet. The late Medieval period was characterized by off-and-on warfare between different branches of the Plantagenets for the throne of England (the Wars of the Roses) and for the throne of France.
  • Tudors, 1485 - 1602: The Tudor dynasty ruled during these years - Henry VII, his son Henry VIII and his three children Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.
  • Stuarts, 1603 - 1713: In 1603, Scotland and England became the United Kingdom (the English and Scottish Crowns were no longer separate). There were several monarchs from the Stuart family, starting with King James I and ending with Queen Anne. The King James version of the bible was written in 1611. Shakespeare lived during this time.
    - PatrickLondon: The Stuart period included the Jacobean period (the time of James VI and I: 1603-1625), the English (and Scottish) Civil Wars, during which the "Commonwealth" parliamentary republic ultimately became a military dictatorship under Cromwell before the "Restoration" of Charles II. Restoration styles anticipate what we appreciate in the Georgian style: regularity and large windows.

  • Georgians, 1714 - 1836: George I became king when Queen Anne died. The kings were George I, George II and George III. Jane Austen lived during this time. The Georgian part of Bath was built during this time. The Regency Period was from 1811 to 1820, when George the III's son, the Regent, took over when his father was ill.
  • Victorians, 1837 - 1900: This time period had one ruler, Queen Victoria.
  • Early 20th Century, 1901 - 1944: This period includes WWI and WWII.
    - PatrickLondon: Also includes Edwardian era, 1901-1910, named for King Edward VII, it usually conveys an idea of a rather more expansive, relaxed and luxurious style and approach to life than the supposed solemnity of the Victorians. And a real footnote: there was a particular style of building in Edwardian times called Queen Anne that has absolutely nothing to do with the real Queen Anne, the last of the Stuarts.
  • Post WWII, 1945 - present


www.bbc.co.uk/history/timelines/britain/: BBC History, British Timeline, has a detailed explanation for each time period

www.royal.gov.uk: The official website of the English Monarchy

www.britainexpress.com/History/: Britain Express, English History

www.britainexpress.com/History/monarchs.htm: Britain Express, English Monarchs from 802 to present

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:History_of_Britain: Wikipedia, history of Britain

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothic_architecture: Wikipedia, terms for architectural/artistic styles from the Medieval and later Middle Ages (Gothic, Early English, Romanesque, and Perpendicular)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1066_and_All_That: Wikipedia, 1066 and all That, a humorous reworking of English history

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