Timeline of Britain


AD 300 – Roman Mosaics

Roman mosaics are perhaps the most spectacular Roman remains in Britain. Many of the finest come from Roman villas, where they reflect the high artistic tastes of the wealthy villa owners in the fourth century. Most are in colour, and many are figured, almost always with classical scenes.


AD 350 – Arbeia Roman fort at South Shields

In the early 4th century, a troop of boatmen were transferred from one end of the Roman Empire to the other. Abandoning the warmth of the River Tigris, they found themselves enjoying the delights of South Shields, a supply fort at the eastern end of Hadrian’s Wall.


AD 500 – Tintagel

Has King Arthur been discovered at Tintagel? Tintagel, on the North coast of Cornwall, is famed in legend as the home of King Mark (of Tristan and Isolde fame) and the possible place where King Arthur was conceived.


AD 700 – Sutton Hoo

In the 7th century AD, a King – it was surely no less – received a magnificent burial at Sutton Hoo, in East Anglia. A ship was hauled up from the river, a burial chamber was erected in the middle of it, and a stupendous collection of magnificent objects – gold and silver brooches and […]


AD 700 – Saxon London Discovered

What happened to London after the end of Roman rule? Bede calls it a ‘mart of many nations’ yet for long the archaeologists could find no trace of this early Saxon London. Then, suddenly, they found it. Not where they expected it, in the ruins of Roman London, but on an entirely new site a […]


AD 800 – Vikings invade the Udal

Perhaps the biggest disruption in the  Hebrides was the advent of the Vikings. But what remained of them and what trace did they leave in the archaeological record? The most remarkable discovery was what appeared to be a Viking fort.


AD 886 – Return to the Roman City: Bullwharf

On Christmas Day 886, King Alfred, exasperated by the attacks of the Danes, finally decided to abandon the undefended ‘open’ site of Lundenwic, and to return to the safety of the old Roman walls. At Bullwharf, evidence of this very first return has been discovered, on a site already recorded in the documents as ‘Queenhythe’. […]


AD 1000 – Canterbury Cathedral

A major Anglo-Saxon cathedral has been revealed – directly under the flagstones of the nave of Canterbury Cathedral. To everyone’s surprise, the Anglo-Saxon Cathedral was almost as big as its Norman successor.

dragon hall

AD 1200 – Norwich: the second largest medieval city

Norwich was the second largest city in Medieval Britain: why? In recent years a number of major sites covering more than 20 acres in all have been excavated in medieval Norwich, which between them have revolutionised our knowledge of this crucial medieval city. Let us take a look at these excavations in order to throw […]

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