History of Britain, Britain is Born – From the time Man first appeared in Britain over a quarter of a million years ago, wave upon wave of invaders from overseas raided and then settled the land. But with the Norman Conquest in 1066 all this was to change. Britain was never again successfully invaded by any other nation.
Britain is Born
Six thousand million years ago our solar system was born. The planets were created, and there was earth. For millions of years, the surface of the earth underwent changes. Europe was joined to North America; Britain to Europe. The present North Sea was once a scorching desert. Later, it became a vast forest. There were volcanoes to the north-east of Scotland.
The first part of Britain to emerge from the sea was a chain of small island. Today, they are the peaks of mountains in the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland. As the pattern became clearer, volcanoes tore the land apart and reshaped it.
The earth folded itself in the creases. Eventually, they became hills and valleys. The granite of Cornwall was created by the red hot flow of lava. Elsewhere, there were huge forests and sweltering swamps.
At intervals there were four long periods of cold. They were called the Ice Ages. We shall never know anything like them. The glaciers came from the north until they reached the edge of what is now London. But, in between each Ice Age, the climate was quite warm.
Just as the shape of the land changed, so did the creatures the inhabited it. At one time, there were monsters such as dinosaurs (massive lizards with tiny heads) and pterodactyls (flying reptiles).
Sabre-toothed tigers roamed in what is now the Thames valley. Later, during the Ice Ages, there were elephants and rhinoceroses. But, because it was so cold, they had long and shaggy fur coats.
Read the next article : The First People