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Stone of Destiny

A replica of the Stone of Destiny at Scone Palace - a national symbol involved in a struggle between Picts, and Irish settlers in Scotland. See below...


Welcome to InfoBritain, for historical visiting information in the UK. InfoBritain tells you what happened and where it happened. We have articles and visits relating to all historical periods from prehistoric Britain to recent times, and to the lives of major British authors, artists, musicians, scientists, politicians, military and royal figures. You can use our site search, or our various menus to find suggested visits relating to times or people. Alternatively go to the regions menu, find a place to visit in a particular area, and then link back to the history relating to it. We also have a full accommodation booking service for all parts of the mainland UK. We specialise in historic accommodation, but we also have comprehensive lists of hotels of all types and price ranges. See the regional menus on the right. Enjoy!

An alphabetical index is available below.


A Personal Note (Archive)

History has long been a battle ground for nationalism. Over 1000 years ago, the trouble was between the Irish and the Picts. The first half of the first millennium saw Irish migrants crossing the northern straits to "Pictland", where they set up a colony consisting of three settlements on Islay, Lorn and Kintyre. This area was known as Argyle, which means the "Eastern Irish," and the new Irish kingdom was known as Dalriada. People living in this kingdom were called " Scot", the Roman word for Irishman. By 800 AD the Irish "Scots" had, through a combination of battle and intermarrying become the dominant force in the north of the British Isles.

The Scots then set about giving themselves an historical claim to the place where they lived. Writers such as Hector Boece and George Buchanan took the history of Dalriada back through time in an attempt to gain historical precedence over the Picts. In the interests of Scottish identity the Picts were written out of the story. So Irishmen who are called Scots, tried to portray themselves as more Scottish than the Picts who had lived there before them. This mess is the reality of history. History is rarely kind to nationalists.


The InfoBritain view of history (with thanks to The Simpsons)

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Historical news for September


This month sees the annual Heritage Open Days events, where historic properties have free visiting, or open up areas not usually accessible to the public. Cadland House Gardens, for example, usually only open by appointment, will be providing guided tours. This is a unusual opportunity to see Capability Brown's smallest surviving landscape, with great views of the Solent. Go to

An exhibition exploring the sources, techniques and stories behind famous paintings by John Constable opens in late September at the V&A London. Pictures involved include the Haywain and Salisbury Cathedral From The Meadows. The exhibition runs 20th September - 11th January 2015. Telephone 020 7942 2000

Smallhythe Place in Kent, former home of actors Ellen Terry and Henry Irving, has its own theatre, which has been refurbished over the winter. Free backstage tours are available on twenty seven dates between the end of July and the end of October. For more details go to

London grew up around a bridge over the Thames. An exhibition exploring the significance of London's bridges opened at the end of June at the Museum of Docklands. The exhibition uses historical art works and the museum collections to tell the story. The exhibition runs 27th June - 2nd November. Telephone 020 7001 9844.



Anniversaries for September

1st September 1958: Iceland expands its fishery zone from 4 to 12 nautical miles from its coast. This puts it into conflict with Britain and begins the "Cod Wars", which continue until 1976

3rd September 1950: Nino Farina becomes the first Formula 1 champion after winning the 1950 Italian Grand Prix.

6th September 1997: The funeral of Princess Diana takes place in London.

11th September 1978: Following a laboratory accident a medical photographer at the University of Birmingham Medical School becomes the last person to die from small pox.

14th September 2007: There is a run on Northern Rock Building Society, the first run on a British bank in 150 years.

23rd September 1641: The Merchant Royal sinks off Land's End in rough weather. The ship is carrying 100,000 pounds of gold.

28th September 1928: Alexander Fleming, a researcher at St Mary's Hospital, London notices a bacteria killing mould in a petri dish. This observation would lead to the discovery of penicillin.


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Almost all photography on InfoBritain is by InfoBritain or by named contributors. All educational use is permitted, but copyright is reserved for commercial uses. Occasionally we have used copyright free stock images which are available for any use. A note will identify these images.

Thank you to photo contributors Danielle Davis, Jean Edwards, Vicky Eagle of Portsmouth Dockyard, Kevin Edwards, Julian Jones, Richard Jones, Jackie Lewis, Debbie Lowless, Judy Mills of the Corinium Museum, Jane Barron of the World Rugby Museum, and Susan Stuart of Old Spitalfields Market.

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