Dark Ages timeline

Saxon pirates, Anderida, Pevensey, GinnettHere is a simple timeline of events during the so-called Dark Ages, the early medieval period, from the 5th century to the Norman Conquest in 1066.

449
The traditional date, according to Bede, for the arrival of Anglo-Saxons in South-East England. In fact, they'd been raiding for years.
|
c500
Saxons are settled in southern England by this time.
|
516
A possible date for the mysterious, possibly mythical, Battle of Mount Badon, in which the Britons under an unknown leader defeat the Saxons.  The battle later became associated with the legendary King Arthur - the last of 12 fabled battles he is said to have fought.
|
c550-c650
Angles, Saxons and Jutes conquer lowland England.  They evolve multiple 'kingdoms'.  British culture is generally extinguished from much of present day England but continues in western Britain.
|
563
St Columba founds a monastery on the island of Iona.
|
596
Pope Gregory saw Angles in Rome's slave market and dispatches Augustine to convert them to Christianity.
|
597
St Augustine lands in Thanet to convert the pagan Saxons in Kent.
|
602
King Ethelbert of Kent donates a site in Canterbury for a new cathedral.  His Frankish wife, Bertha, was already Christian.
|
627
Edwin of Northumbria is the first Christian king in the north of England.
|
629
In the wider context - Muhammad seizes Mecca.
|
633
At Aiden founds a monastery at Lindisfarne.
|
c650
By the end of the 7th century, there are 7 main Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms in what is now modern England: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Wessex, Kent, Sussex and Essex.  To the south-west are the West Welsh in Dumnonia (Devon) and Kernow (Cornwall).  Further British kingdoms are Powys, Gwynedd, Gwent (modern Wales), Rheged (Cumbria) and Strathclyde (south west Scotland),
|
654
St Cedd, a Northumbrian priest in the Celtic tradition, set out to evangelise the heathen East Saxons.
|
664
Synod of Whitby - determined that the English church would follow Rome, rather than the Celtic, Christian tradition.
|
685
Battle of Dunnichen (or Dun Nechtain) - King Bridei's Picts stop the northern expansion of the Northumbrian Angles.
|
731
Bede completes his History of the English Church and People.
|
757
Offa becomes King of Mercia. He orders the construction of a defensive earthwork between Mercia and Powys, now known as Offa’s Dyke; it still more or less defines the border between England and Wales.
|
789
Vikings raid Dorset - the first recorded Viking attack on Britain.
|
793
Vikings attack Lindisfarne.
|
795
Vikings attack Iona.
|
829
Egbert, King of Wessex, conquers Mercia.
|
843
Kenneth MacAlpine unites Picts and Scots to form a kingdom of Scotland.
|
869
Edmund, King of East Anglia, is martyred by the Danes.
|
867
The Danes capture York.
|
870
Vikings destroy Dumbarton, stronghold of the Kingdom of Strathclyde.
|
871-900
The reign of Alfred the Great, King of Wessex.
|
877
Danes attack Chippenham at Christmas, forcing Alfred into hiding in Athelney, Somerset.
|
878
Alfred defeats the Danes at Edington (Ethandun), Wiltshire.
|
886
Alfred makes a treaty with the Danes that secures the Kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia and establishes the area of Danelaw north of the Thames and south of the Tees.
|
925
Aethelstan is crowned King of Wessex.  He is generally accepted as the first king of all England.
|
927
Having defeated the Danes in the north, Aethelstan accepts the submission of the kings of the Scots, Strathclyde Welsh, Cumbria and the Earl of Northumbria at Eamont Bridge, Cumbria.
|
937
A combined invasion of Vikings, Welsh and Scots is crushed by Aethelstan at Brunanburh (no one knows where this was).
|
978
Edward, King of England, is martyred at Corfe, Dorset.
|
991
Battle of Maldon - an English army is defeated by invading Vikings in Essex. The King, Ethelred, pays Danegeld (ie protection money) to buy peace.
|
1002
St Brice's Day massacre - King Ethelred orders the massacre of all Danes in England.
|
1013
Swein Forkbeard invades England.  Once again, the Danes rule.
|
1016
Cnut of Denmark becomes King of England.
|
1017
Cnut marries Emma of Normandy, the widow of Ethelred. Cnut divided England into four earldoms - Northumbria Wessex, Mercia and East Anglia - each at one time kingdoms in their own right.
|
1018
Battle of Carham.  Malcolm II, King of Alba, defeated Uhtred of Northumbria, becomes first king of a united Scotland and establishes a border very similar to today's.
|
1040
Macbeth defeats Duncan and becomes King of Scotland.
|
1042
Edward the Confessor becomes King of England.
|
1066
Edward the Confessor dies.  Harold becomes King of England.  England is invaded by Vikings from the north, culminating in the Battle of Stamford Bridge, and Normans from the south leading to the defeat of Harold at the Battle of Hastings.  William, Duke of Normandy, is crowned King of England on 25th December.

Sutton Hoo, Saxon helmet, British museum