Make your own free website on

General History of Britain before 1066 A.D.

55 B.C. Julius Caesar led the first invasion of Britannia, in order to punish the Britons for helping the Gauls and to boost his reputation in Rome. The army stayed a year and then returned to Rome.

43 A.D. The first major invasion of Britain, this time by the Emperor Claudius. The Romans stayed and colonized the whole of England (although not Scotland or Wales).

61 A.D. Queen Boudicca (pronounced Boo-dikka), the ruler of the Iceni tribe, led a revolt against the Romans. Her tribe destroyed Colchester and London, but was eventually defeated. Boudicca committed suicide rather than being captured.

122 A.D. Emperor Hadrian ordered a wall to be built with forts at the northern limit of his empire. Some parts of Hadrian's Wall can still be seen just south of the Scottish border.

300 A.D. The first coastal forts were built, such as at Porchester, to defend Britain from Saxon raiders.

410 A.D. The Roman legions were recalled to Rome in order to defend it from invaders. Most of the soldiers had been born in Britain.

432 A.D. St. Patrick preached Christianity in Ireland. He became Ireland's patron saint.

c. 440 A.D. Vortigern, King of Britain, invited Saxon mercenaries to settle in Kent. He got more than he bargained for - they eventually took over the entire country!

490 A.D. The Battle of Mons Badonicus took place. This gave rise to the legend of King Arthur.

c. 540 A.D. The cleric Gildas writes a book called "On the ruin and conquest of Britain."

563 A.D. St. Columba preached Christianity in northern Britain.

597 A.D. St. Augustine preached Christianity in the south.

622 A.D. King Redwald of Suffolk (the "South folk") was buried at Sutton Hoo in a giant longboat together with all his treasure. The Sutton Hoo burial was only discovered just before the Second World War, and formed the foremost Saxon find to date.

635 A.D. Aidan of Northumberland founded a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne off the coast of northern Britain.

657 A.D. Hilda founded an abbey at Whitby on the Yorkshire coast.

731 A.D. The monk Bede (pronounced "Beed") completed his history of the English Church and Peoples, which included accounts of the first Viking raids in the North East.

757-96 A.D. Offa, King of Mercia, ruled. He was known as the "King of the English".

793 A.D. The Vikings attacked Lindisfarne.

c. 830 A.D. The Welsh chronicler Nennius wrote "History of the Britons".

834 A.D. The first Viking raids took place in Southern England.

850 A.D. Vikings began to settle in Britain.

867 A.D. The Viking kingdom of Jorvik (York) was established.

870 A.D. St. Edmund was killed by Vikings in Suffolk at Bury St. Edmunds.

871-901 A.D. Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, ruled.

886 A.D. Alfred made peace with Guthrum, King of the Vikings.

991 A.D. The Battle of Maldon took place, Saxons against Vikings.

1016-35 A.D. Canute (more properly called Knut), a Danish king, ruled over the English.

1066 A.D. The Saxons under their king, Harold, fought against the Vikings at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Having defeated them, Harold and his army marched south to face William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings. The Saxons were defeated, Harold was killed, and the Norman era of British history started.

Go Back