Wednesday, 24 April 2013


Ancient mysteries: Stonehenge is a group of huge standing stones. It was built around 2500 BCE. The first work at the site was done in 3100 BCE. The builders used to types of stones, 'the bluestones' ans 'Sarsen' stones.Many people that the stones were placed in this way because of the movement of the stars and the sun and the moon. It was probably important for the religion of the people who built it.An also ancient monument is The Stone Ring at Avebury, near Stonehenge. This is the largest stone circle in the world.

The Celts: The Celts lived in Britain in the Iron Age from around 600 BCE. They came from Central Europe and we know about them because of the objects which archaeologists have found. Their priests were called druids and had a great power in the society.We also know about the Celts from the 'bog bodies'. Bogs are areas of wet land; if a body is buried in a bog, it is kept in good condition, perhaps for centuries.

A warrior queen:In 55 BCE, Julius Caesar Britain. The Celts were great warriors but the Romans had better organisation and defeated them. Caesar returned in 54 BCE and this time the Britons agreed to give money to the Romans.In 43 BCE the Roman Emperor Claudius and his army stayed in Britain and became part of the Roman Empire.Camulodunum (Colchester), was the first capital. In CE 60 was a revolution against the Romans. Boudicca was queen of the Iceni tribe and a warrior too. She hated Romans because they were very cruel to her and her daughters. Her army attacked and destroyed Colchester and then burnt Londinium. The Romans won the battle and Boudicca killed herself. Later the Romans controlled the most of Britain.

The Roman occupation: Londinium now became the new Roman capital. If a modern British citi name ends in -cester,-caster or -chester, it was originally a Roman camp. The Romans improved the services in the country, and built straight roads.But they did not control Scotland. In Ce 122 the Emperor Hadrian decided to build a wall across the north of England to defend Roman Britain against the Picts(different group of Celtics who lived in Scotland).

The King Buried in a Ship: In CE 410, The Romans left Britain. They went to defend Rome against the barbarians and left Britain without any protection. The Anglo-Saxons and the Jutes arrived from the north-west Europe and they took the control of the country. We know a lot about them because archaeologists have found many objects from their times. The Staffordshire hoard, it's the largest discovery of objects from the time of the Anglo-Saxons.

The Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings: The Anglo-Saxons had a big influence on England; in facte the name England comes from Angle-Land. They divided the country into five kingdoms (Northumbia, Mercia, Wessex, Kent and Anglia). Most of the basic English words also come from them (ex.mother, woman, day, night, bed, go,...)and also some of the days of the week.In CE 597, a monk called Augustine came to England. He was sent by Pope and he slowly told people about the Christian religion. From CE 800, vikings from Denmark and Norway began to attack Britain. The most famous Anglo-Saxon king was Alfred the Great. He fought against the Vikings and he won. Then he allowed them to live in the area around York.

The Normans: the best-known date in the British history is 1066. A duke from Normandy said that he was the real king of England and invaded it. The Saxon king, Harold, was fighting in the north but he returned and there was a battle at Hastings. Harold was killed, the Normans won and William the conqueror became the first Norman King.Normans built many castles and cathedrals. French became the language of the rules for about 300 years. They created a feudal system where they were lords and the Saxons were serfs.

The Middle Ages: The king and the church had great power. This sometimes led to problems. There was a fight for power between the kings and the rich men in England. The king wanted to collect money to pay for his wars but the rich men didn't like this. They invaded London and in 1215 they made king John sign the Magna Carta(document which limited the king's power). It was very important because it introduced shared power between the king and the people. Later the Black Death came to England. This was a terrible disease. It killed nearly half of the 5-6 million people living there.Also, there were important wars. In 1337, 'The Hundred Years War' between England and France. It began when King Edward III of England said that he should also be king of France. He invaded France and for the following 116 years there were wars between England and France. During this war a woman, Joan of Arc, fought for the french and she helped them to win because she was brave. At the end of the war England had lost all its land in France except Calais.Later there was a war in England between two leading families: The Lancaster and the York. Both 'houses' wanted someone from their family to be king of England. It was called the war of the Roses 1455-1485 ( the symbol of the both families was a rose,Lancaster-red and York-white).Finally Henry Tudor, from the house Lancaster, defeated Richard III from the house of York. Richard was the last king who was killed in a battle.

The Tudor period: Henry Tudor became King Henry VII. He created the 'Tudor rose'. -it was a symbol of peace between Lancaster and York. His son, Henry VIII, is famous for having 6 wives.When Catherine of Aragon became queen, she returned England to a Roman catholic church. People called her 'Bloody Mary' because many protestants were killed during her reign. When she died her sister, Elisabeth became the queen. She started the protestant Church of England again. Her reign was a golden age for England because it became rich and powerful and successful. There were many famous writers like Shakespeare. English sailors such as Francis Drake explored the world and challenged the power of Spain.

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