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Wales History Timeline

  • (1000 BC) Hill forts built during Iron Age
  • (500 - 100 BC) Celts settled in Wales
43 AD - 500s
  • (43 AD) Romans invaded Britain
  • (78 AD) Romans conquered Wales
  • (100 AD) Irish raiders settled southwestern Wales
  • (500) Saxons invaded Wales
  • (516) Battle of Mount Badon stopped the aggressive expansion of the Saxons
700s - 1000s
  • (784) Saxon King of Mercia, built Offa's Dyke, created boundary between England and Wales
  • (1040) First Prince of Wales, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, secured borders
  • (1063) English invaded; Gruffydd ap Llywelyn killed
  • (1066) Normans invaded; King Harold of England killed; Marcher Lordships established on Wales' borders
1200s - 1300s
  • (1215) Magna Carta signed
  • (1276 - 1277) First Welsh independence war
  • (1277) Treaty of Aberconwy signed, ended war; Edward I began building castles
  • (1282 - 1283) Second Welsh independence war
  • (1284) Statute of Rhuddlan ended war; Wales incorporated into England; new counties created
  • (1301) King Edward I bestowed title "Prince of Wales" upon son, Edward II
  • (1349) Black Death swept across country, 40% of population died
1400s - 1500s
  • (1400 - 1410) Third war of independence led by Owain Glyndwr against England
  • (1402) Laws passed prohibiting Welsh from gathering, holding office, carrying arms and living in forts
  • (1410) King Henry IV supressed Welsh rebellion; the long war against England ended
  • (1455) War of Roses began in England
  • (1485) War of Roses ended; Henry Tudor (Henry VII) became first Welsh King of England
  • (1536) Henry VIII enacted Act of Union; began dissolution of monasteries
  • (1563) Bible published in Welsh language
1600s - 1800s
  • (1642) Civil War broke out in England
  • (1644) The Battle of Montgomery was the first battle during Civil War in Wales
  • (1651) Battle of Worcester ended Civil War; Charles I executed; Charles II exiled
  • (1750) Industrial Age began; Wales became largest producer of iron and copper in the world
  • (1800) First of great Welsh canals built
  • (1811) Wales became non-conformist nation, broke with the Church of England
  • (1831) Merthy Uprising sparked by workers in debt; troops brought in, more than 24 citizens died
  • (1839) Rebecca Riots occurred, toll gates destroyed in protest against high fees
  • (1850's) Coal fields in South Wales developed
  • (1867) Great Reform Act gave vote to male householders; Welsh Liberal Party formed
  • (1891) U.S. passed McKinley Tariff, caused severe financial blow to Welsh industry
  • (1900 - 1903) Strike at Penrhyn Slate Quarry longest labor dispute in history; 3000 workers walked out
  • (1913) Explosion at Senghenydd's Lancaster Pit killed 439 miners
  • (1916) Lloyd George first Welshman to become British prime minister
  • (1925) National Party (Plaid Cymru) founded
  • (1934) Explosion and fire killed 266 miners at Gresford
  • (1955) Cardiff became capital of Wales
  • (1966) Slag pile collapsed on school at Aberfan, 144 children and teachers killed
  • (1977) National Party (Plaid Cymru) founded
  • (1978) Welsh Act introduced in favor of government assembly for Wales
  • (1979) Welsh Act defeated
  • (1984) Year-long miner's strike virtually ended coal industry in the country
  • (1996) Sea Empress grounded off Wales in heavy sea, spilled over 18 million gallons of oil
  • (1997) 1997 Referendum passed, gave Wales assembly in government
  • (1999) Tony Blair, British prime minister, opened Welsh national assembly (first self government in over 600 years)
  • (2001) Thousands of sheep tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease were slaughtered
  • (2004) Fox hunting in Britain (including Wales) outlawed by British government
  • (2005) Charles, Prince of Wales, married Camilla Parker Bowles
  • (2006) Four members of Rhyl Cycling Club killed in road accident near Abergele
  • (2007) Snow storms caused schools, businesses to close, over 500 people trapped in cars; smoking ban for all enclosed public spaces went into effect
  • (2008) Last deep mine, the Tower Colliery in South Wales, closed; customs officials recovered 22 million counterfeit cigarettes in container from Dubai
  • (2010) Unemployment rate in Wales higher than any other home country at 9.2%; Cheryl Gillan became first woman to hold post of Secretary of State for Wales
  • (2011) Prince William of Wales married Catherine Middleton

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.