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Georgian Times     The Egyptians     The Elizabethans     The Greeks     The Industrial Revolution     

The Middle Ages     The Normans     The Pilgrim Fathers     The Renaissance     The Romans     The Vikings

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Early human beings were hunters. To keep warm they wrapped themselves in the fur of the animals they killed. At thirst they made their homes in caves or they lives in simple shelters made from branches and animal skins.

When early humans learned how to grow crops, and keep cattle and sheep, they had to settle in one place and build a home.

Gradually, people learned to spin wool from their sheep and weave it into cloth. They began to use baskets and pots, and they made tools and ornaments from bronze and iron.

People built their homes in groups to feel safe. A few houses grew into a village, then a town, which in turn became a city.

The Eqyptians

The kings and queens of Eqypt were buried in huge stone pyramids built in the desert. These royal tombs held rooms full of treasure, gold, jewellery, clothes and furniture, for use in what they believed to be the 'afterlife'.

The Egyptians wore loose clothes made of linen to keep cool. They used make-up, perfume and wore long wigs and fancy headdresses.

Click on the little pyramids view pictures of me when I was in Egypt

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The Greeks

The ancient Greeks built beautiful temples for their gods. They were great architects and sculptors, and they also loved the theatre.

Picture from

As early as the 7th century BS the Greeks began the Olympic Games - a sports contest held every four years in Olympia. Chariot races, running, long jumps, discus, javelin, boxing and wrestling were all part of the first Olympic Games.

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The Romans

The Romans were great soldiers. Their armies marched on foot from Italy into Europe and North Africa in the 3rd century. In the lands they conquered they built fine roads, bridges and forts. They founded great cities. Even today you can see the remains of some Roman buildings.

They wore tunics or gowns with a toga on top. The houses of wealthy Romans were very grand, with mosaic floors and pictures painted on the walls. Some hourse had under-floor heating, and the public baths had hot pools and steam rooms.

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The Vikings

The Vikings were pirates who began raiding the coasts of Britain and Europe in the 9th century. they were fierce fighters armed with wooden shields, swords and battle axes. They came from the cold climate of Northern Europe and wore woollen shirts and pants, cloaks and fur-lined leather boots.


Pictures from

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The Normans

At first the Normans built wooden castles in the middle of a strong stockade.

Later, until the 12th centruy, they built castles of solid stone, often surrounded by a water-filled moat. To enter the castle you had to cross a draw-bridge. Some castles were so big they looked like small towns. In times of danger the people would retreat inside the castle wall for safety.

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The Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, from about the 11th to the 15th century, all land in Britain was owned by a king. Knights fought for their kings, in return for land and sometimes a castle.

Knights wore chain mail and armour to protect themselves from the swords and arrows of the enemy. Kings, knights and noblemen had different coats-of-arms or emblems on their flags and shields, enabling them to be recognised on the battlefield.

Click here to view a picture of me with a knight when I was in Malta

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The Renaissance

This was a time, from the 14th to the 16th century, of new thinking and learning. Ideas quickly spread from Italy across Europe as a result of the development of printing.

Now people could learn about the latest discoveries in astrology and other sciences. The scientist Galileo built a telescope to study the stars and planets. He believed, correctly, that the Earth moved and revolved around the Sun, and was not the centre of the universe, as people had thught in the past.

Explorere sailed away to find new countries and made maps of their voyages. It was also a time for great artists, sculptors and architects.

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The Elizabethans

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 (1558 - 1603), costumes were richly embroidered and covered in jewels. Men and women wore starched ruffs around their necks and padding in their clothes.

Picture of Queen Elizabeth I from

The Elizabethan seamen were daring adventurers. Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world in the Golden Hind. Sir Walter Raleigh led expeditions of discovery and he names the state of Virginia in America after the Queen. Raleigh also brought back the first potatoes to England.

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The Pilgrim Fathers

Over 100 people left England in 1620 and sailed for America, because they were not allowed to worship as they wanted.

After 66 days at sea in the Mayflower, they stopped ashore at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

A long hard year followed in which many of them died. In spite of this they harvested their first crops and built new homes. They had so much food they celebrated the first Thanksgiving with their new found Indian friends.

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Georgian Times

In Georgian times, from the early 18th to the mid 19th century, fashion became very important. The wealthy dressed in elegant clothes, and cared a lot about their appearance.

Even children had their own style of clothes and were not dressed like grown-ups, as they had been in the past.

Rich landowners buildt fine mansions, often taking away the land of the country people. This meant that the villagers had to work for the landowners for a very small wage and often had to leave their homes.

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The Industrial Revolution

This was the age of machines, factories, mills and mines. Spinning and weaving cloth had been done by people in their homes. Now this work could be done much quicker by machines driven by steam engines.

Country people were forced to move into towns and toil in the factories. There, adults and children worked long hours and lived in dirty, crowded slums.

Picture from

By the end of the 19th century a few caring people worked hard to improve these terrible conditions by passing new laws.

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