Saxon Timeline

Key events during the Saxon period of British History

This table outlines key dates during the Saxon period of British history, AD410 - AD1066. Part of this timeline was taken from David Nicolle's (1984) book Arthur and the Anglo-Saxon Wars. There are clearly some spurious attributions in it - such as Arthur's presence at Mount Badon and his death. However, it is a generally useful account of the major shifts in power over the period.

Important Dates
Year Event
410 - 520 Angles, Saxons and Jutes begin their migration to the British Isles and settle in England
c.600 Northumbria defeats Strathclyde-Gododdinat
600 England is divided into seven major kingdoms (view map);Kent, Northumbria, Wessex, Essex, Sussex, Mercia and East Anglia
C.615 Northumbria defeats Britons near Chester.
627-634 Northumbria converted to Christianity
C.628 Anglo-Saxon Hwicce (Gloucester) annexed by Mercia
634 Northumbria defeats Gwynned at Hexham
635 Bernicia, Deira and Celtic Elmet formally united as the kingdom of Northumbria
653 Essex converted to Christianity
655 Pagan Mercia defeated by Northumbria and converted to Christianity
658 Most of Somerset conqueredby Wessex
664 Synod of Whitby
679 Northumbria defeated by Mercia at Trent
681-686 Sussex converted to Christianity
685 Northern Picts defeat Northumbrians at Dunnichen
686 Isle of Wight annexed by Wessex, conversion of this last Anglo-Saxon realm to Christianity
c.690-720 Devon absorbed by Wessex
700-710 Lindsey absorbed by Mercia
c.730 Chiltern-Saeten (Chiltern Hills) annexed by Mercia
741 King Oengus of the Picts defeats Scots of Dal Riata
793 Lindisfarne monastery raided; first dated Norse attack
c.800 Northumbria loses Dumfries to Strathclyde
814 South Welsh Dumnonia (Cornwall) conquered by Wessex
816 Welsh kingdomof RhuFuniog conquered by Mercia
841 Norse found city of Dublin
c.843 'Treachery of Scone', Southern Pictish leaders murdered by Scots of Dal Riata . Picts put under Scottish king, formation of united kingdom of Alban
865-867 Norse 'Great Army' raids across England, captures York
870 Norse capture Dumbarton, Strathclyde capital
871 - 899 Alfred is King of Wessex unites the Saxons and resists the Danes
871 Alfred of Wessex halts Norse advance at battle of Ashdown
875-900 Norse settle in Galloway
876 Norse begin to settle in England
879 Norse force Alfred of Wessex to retreat to Athelney
879 Wessex defeats Norse of East Anglia
C.910-920 Northumbria loses Carlisle and northern Cumbria to Strathclyde
911 London and Home Counties north of Thames annexed by Wessex
912-917 Norse East Anglia conquered by Wessex
917-918 'Danish' (Norse) Mercia conquered by Wessex
919 'English' Mercia annexed by Wessex
919 Norse kingdom of York conquered by Wessex
920 Edward of Wessex recognised as senior king in Britain.
924 - 939 Atheslstan rules England
937 Wessex defeats Celtic-Norse'Grand Alliance at Brunaburgh
956 Strathclyde loses Menteith and Lennox to Alban
959 Unification of England under king Edgar of Wessex
962 Northumbria loses Edinburgh and Midlothian to Alban
973 Northumbria cedes suzerainty over Lothian and 'Borders' to Alban
1006 Alban defeated by Northumbria
1013 - 1042 Danish Kings rule England
1014 Celtic-Irish defeat Norse and Norse-Irish at battle of Clontarf
1015 Strathclyde temporarily annexed by Alban
1016 Knut the Great joins England to his 'empire' of Denmark and Norway
1018 Alban defeats Northumbria at Carham., annexes Lothian and 'Borders'
1034 Strathclyde finally annexed by Alban
1038 Galloway annexed by Alban (effective creation of united kingdom of Scotland)
1042 - 1066 The Saxon, Edward the Confessor is King of England
1062 Earl Harold of Wessex defeats Gruifydd, high king of Wales
1066 Anglo-Saxons defeat Norse at Stamford Bridge. Normans defeat Anglo-Saxons at Battle of Hastings, conquer England. and start of Norman Rule

Nicolle, D, 1984, Arthur and the Anglo-Saxon Wars. Osprey