Sunrise over ancient Britain - Stonehenge is a reminder of the achievements of early inhabitant
© AA Photo Library
8000 BC Mesolithic hunter-gatherers journey into southern Britain.
4000 BC Neolithic “New Stone Age” people settle in southern Britain.
circa 500 BC Iron age culture develops in Britain.
55-54 BC Julius Caesar makes expeditions to Britain.
AD 43 Roman conquest of Britain begins; first settlement of London by Romans.
circa 400 Roman army and administration withdraws from Britain.
1066 Battle of Hastings; Norman Conquest of Britain.
1314 Battle of Bannockburn, in which England suffers disastrous defeat at the hands of Scotland's Robert Bruce.
1534 Henry VIII appoints himself head of the Church in England; beginning of English Reformation.
1649 King Charles I executed; British Commonwealth established.
1707 Scotland and England unite by Act of Union.
1776 American colonies declare independence from Britain.
1815 Battle of Waterloo; Napoleon defeated by combined European force led by Duke of Wellington.
1914-18 Britain plays major part in World War I.
1939-44 World War II begins; Winston Churchill becomes Prime Minister of Britain; D-Day, Allied forces invade Normandy.
1945 War ends; Churchill loses in national elections.
1973 Britain joins European Union.
2002 Celebrations held throughout Britain for Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee.