Named Period Timeline

The list below provides a timeline for the commonly used named periods in English and British history, which I have referenced across this blog site.

Palaeolithic: 450,000–12,000 BC

During the “old stone age” hominins grouped together in small societies and subsisted by gathering plants and fishing, hunting or scavenging wild animals.

Mesolithic: 12,000–4,000 BC

Meaning “middle stone age”. It refers to the final period of hunter-gatherers from the end of the last ice-age until the Neolithic period.

Britain becomes and island in c 6000 BC.

Neolithic: 4,000–2,000 BC

Also known as the “New Stone Age”. This period saw the establishment of fixed settlements and the introduction of agriculture.

In this period the construction of Stonehenge takes place 3000 BC – 2000 BC. Other stone circles are constructed around the country.

Bronze Age: 2,000–600 BC

This period was marked by the use of copper and then bronze by the prehistoric Britons, who used such metals to fashion tools, weapons and objects of art.

The creation of barrows (tumuli) and burial mounds is widespread.

Iron Age: 600 BC–AD 43

The British Iron Age lasted in theory from the first significant use of iron for tools and weapons in Britain to the Romanisation of the southern half of the island.

Pytheas of Massilia circumnavigates and charts the British Isles around 325 BC. The Roman Julius Caesar leads two temporary expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54 BC.

Roman: AD 43–410

From the invasion of Britain by the Roman Emperor Claudius to their eventual withdrawal to Rome.

Saxon (early-medieval): AD 410–1066

From the end of Roman Britain to the Norman conquest of 1066.

Medieval: AD 1066-1485

The medieval period is often broken down into the following commonly used period names, which reference English Royal households or dynasties.

  • Norman: AD 1066–1154
  • Plantagenet: AD 1154–1485

Post-medieval: AD 1485–present

Similarly, the post-medieval period can be further broken down into the following commonly used period names, which also reference English Royal households or dynasties, and other significant events.

  • Tudor: AD 1485-1603
    • Elizabethan: AD 1558-1603
  • Stuart: AD 1603-1714
  • Georgian: AD 1714-1837
    • Regency: AD 1811-1820
  • Victorian: AD 1837-1901
  • Edwardian: AD 1901-1914
  • First World War: AD 1914–1918
  • Interwar Britain: AD 1919–1939
  • Second World War: AD 1939–1945


No, these are not musical notes, but references to the nomenclature of calendar eras for the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

CE (Common Error) is a non-religious form of AD (Anno Domini) referring to the years since the “year of our lord”, or year 1.

BCE (Before Common Era) is the non-religious form of BC (Before Christ) prior to year 1.

I have used both forms across my blog. Also AD or CE should precede the stated year, where as BCE or BC should follow. I doubt I have obeyed this rule correctly, but will try harder to do so from now on!