Scotland History Timeline

By | October 14, 2021


According to Computergees, Scotland is an autonomous nation in northwestern Europe and one of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Scotland is the second largest part (with 32% of the surface and 8% of the population) after England, followed by Wales and Northern Ireland. The geographical area consists of the northern third of the island of Great Britain as well as the archipelagos of the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands and the Hebrides. Scotland borders England to the south and is surrounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the Irish Sea in the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands. The capital
Edinburgh is one of Europe’s largest financial centers, but the largest city is Glasgow. Other major cities are Aberdeen and Dundee.

Scotland’s history can be delimited by the last ice age about 10,000 years ago, although the human population in northern Europe including present – day Scotland extends into the previous interglacial period. Although Heidelberg man and Neanderthals have only been proven from the Middle Ages by finds from England, it is reasonable to assume that they also populated Scotland during the periods when the entire mainland peninsula of Britain was ice-free. When humans again populated the area farthest north in Britain after the last ice age, the islands soon developed a very warm climate with subtropical nature even in the north. From around 6,500 BC. the land bridge to the continent was flooded by sea, and the British Isles followed their own development paths with strong impulses from the continent through the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. Many objects have been found from prehistoric times, but no written traces.


10,500 BCE – Orkney Islands under glacier ice. Between 10,000 and 8,000 BC. the land masses rose and the islands were formed. Around 5,900 BC. the islands were covered with grass and hazel bushes. There are traces of human activity in the Orkney Islands dating back to 3,100 BC. An important proof of this is the settlement of Skara Brae, which after a storm in 1850 came to light after being buried under sand in the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of the island of Mainland. The last excavations were made between 1928 and 1930. The first residents of the islands were Picters, and there are remains of several of their underground houses, burial sites, round towers (brochs), stone circles and obelisks. Among other things, millstones, bone chambers and a number of ceramics have been preserved.

8500 BCE – The first known settlements belonged to Mesolithic hunters and gatherers, and archaeologists have dated such a camp at Biggar. Numerous other camps have been found all over Scotland and form a picture of people who moved around, used boats and made tools of bone, stone and antlers.

43-410 – Scotland’s written history begins only when the Roman Empire came to Britain after year zero. The Romans took control of territories that are now England and Wales and created the Roman province of Roman Britain. The area north of the island, which was not occupied or ruled by the Romans, was called Caledonia, and the Romans called the people picts.

83 – The Battle of Mons Graupius.

122 – The Romans build Hadrian’s Wall. It was built by the Romans under Emperor
Hadrian. The purpose was to protect Roman Britain from the Picts’
raids from Scotland, thus making it possible to use the Roman troops in other parts of the empire. The wall was to provide peace to the south, delimit the fronts psychologically and create economic stability. The wall was the northern boundary of the Roman Empire through most of its rule in Britain, and it was the empire’s most fortified fortification with 14 frontier forts. The wall gained great importance in connection with cross-border trade.

143 – The Romans build the Antonine Wall.

200-850 – The Picts were a Celtic people who formed a community in areas of present-day Scotland.

604 – The Kingdom of Northumbria is founded when the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia are merged. The two ancient kingdoms continued to be a form of sub-kingdoms, and in periods of the 7th century they were independent.

13th century – Edinburgh Castle is the most famous of the Scottish castles and has a long history. The oldest part of the castle is St Margaret’s Chapel, which dates from the 12th century. In the following centuries, several things have been added to the castle.

1305 – August 23. William Wallace, was a Scottish freedom hero who was captured, tortured and executed in the Smithfield market in London that day, after leading his men to resist the English occupation of Scotland under King Edward I of England during the first period of the Scottish War of Independence. Wallace was portrayed in the movie ” Braveheart ” by Mel Gibson. He was often described as ‘one of the people’, as opposed to another Scottish hero like Robert Bruce, a French-speaking nobleman of the Norman family, who at first still compromised with England. Wallace rejected all compromises and it eventually became his humiliating death.

1437 – Edingburgh becomes the capital of Scotland. The city is with approx. 13 mio. visitors per year the second largest tourist city in the UK after London.

1468 – The last major acquisition of land occurred when James III of Scotland married Margrete of Denmark. In this connection, Scotland received the Norwegian lands of the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands as collateral for the dowry, as the Danish king had a strained economy. Despite the Scottish takeover, the connection to Norway was not broken. Norwegian institutions and authorities continued to function in part, and Norwegian was, at least in Shetland, both spoken and written language for a relatively long time.

1692 – Glen Coe, meaning ” River Coe “. A horrific massacre took place in the Scottish Highlands, where English troops slaughtered most of the Highland clan, MacDonald, as part of the long battle between England and the Scots.

1707 – May 1. The Kingdom of Scotland was an independent state until Union law
united the country with the Kingdom of England to the Kingdom of Great Britain. The two countries had had a common monarch since the personnel union in 1603, but had continued to be independent countries. Scotland remains constituted as an independent state, although the country was ruled from London for 292 years, but has always had its own administration, including its own legal and judicial system based on principles other than the English.

1723 – Daniel Defoe writes a novel – Highland Rogue – based on Rob Roy’s life, and the novel helped to make Rob Roy a living legend, which influenced those in power to release him. When Sir Walter Scott wrote the novel Rob Roy in 1817, additional material was added to the legend (which then almost made Rob Roy a modern Robin Hood ). William Wordsworth’s poem “Rob Roy’s Grave”, which he wrote during a trip to Scotland in 1803, has further contributed, just as cinematic productions have contributed, first and foremost the film ” Rob Roy “ from 1995, directed by Michael Caton-Jones.

1832 – September 21. Sir Walter Scott, was a Scottish writer best known for Ivanhoe, who has been filmed several times. He died in Abbotsford, aged 61 years.

1894 – December 3. Robert Louis Stevensen, Scottish author, whose most famous novels are “ Treasure Island ” (1883) and “ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ”(1886), died of a long-term illness ( tuberculosis ) in Samoa, at the age of 44 from a cerebral haemorrhage.

1897-1901 – The Glenfinnan Viaduct is a railway viaduct on the West Highland Line in Glenfinnan, Scotland. It was built in 1897-1901 and is located at one end of Loch Shiel Lake. The viaduct is single-track and consists of 21 arches, each spanning 15 meters. The viaduct is built of concrete. The viaduct, located in a scenic area, and the veteran train The Jacobite, which runs on the stretch, have been used in several films, including Charlotte Gray and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In addition, it has appeared as a motif on a Scottish £ 10 banknote issued in 2007.

1922 – August 2. Alexander Graham Bell, who for many years was considered the inventor of the telephone, died at the age of 75 in Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia, Canada. On June 11, 2002, however, this recognition was revoked by Bell by the United States Congress, which officially recognized Antonio Meucci as the inventor of the telephone.

1930 – July 7. Arthur Conan Doyle, the Scottish doctor and author who created the prototype of all modern detectives, Sherlock Holmes, died at the age of 71. In his old age, Conan Doyle devoted himself entirely to the supernatural world and spent his time and fortune convincing others of the supernatural, often to the detriment of his reputation.

1933 – The myth of the Loch Ness monster begins, but stories of presumed sightings of sea monsters in Loch Ness, Scotland go back much further. The evidence for the monster consists of knowledge claims and questionable photographic material, and is probably a mix between scams and wishful thinking, yet the modern myth of the Loch Ness monster is the most popular example of cryptozoology in recent times, only matched by Bigfoot. A common perception among followers is that it is one or more plesiosaurs that have survived since the last mass extinction.

1941 – Scotland’s perhaps most bizarre incident during the war occurs when Rudolf Hess flies to Renfrewshire with the aim of negotiating a peace treaty with the Allies.

1962 – October 5. Sean Connery became famous as the British agent James Bond in the first film “ Dr. No “. After five Bond films in the period 1962-67, Connery wanted to get away from the Bond role. However, he later agreed to take on the role of Diamonds Lasting Forever in 1971 and Never Say Never Again in 1983. He won an Oscar for his role as Chicago police officer Jimmy Malone in the film The Invincibles (1987).

1983 – Scottish-born Annie Lennox achieved huge international success with her music partner David A. Stewart in their band Eurythmics with the hit single ” Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) ”

1986 – March 7. The first in a series of Highlander films in which the character Connor MacLeod ( Christopher Lambert ) is Highlander. He was born in Glenfinnan, in the Scottish Highlands in the 16th century. MacLeod is an “immortal”; since the first time he was mortally wounded. He cannot grow old, but can still be killed by beheading. When only one “immortal” is left, he or she will be awarded the “prize”. The exact nature of the prize is open to the viewer to guess. This led to a series of sword fights between the “immortals”, and when one was beheaded, the opponent gained the powers and abilities of the dead.

1988 – The Scottish town of Lockerbie becomes famous when the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 takes place on 21 December. Large parts of the wicker hit the city. 270 people died, including 11 residents of the city. 25 years later in December 2013, a new source pointed out that the Palestinian group PFLP-GC was behind it.

Scotland History Timeline