What Was the UK Called in Ancient Times?

Have you ever wondered what the United Kingdom was called in ancient times? It’s a question that has puzzled historians and curious minds alike.

The UK, as we know it today, is a relatively modern invention, but its roots can be traced back to the early days of human civilization. Let’s take a journey through time and explore what the UK was called in ancient times.

The Beginnings

The history of the UK dates back to prehistoric times when the land was inhabited by various groups of people. The earliest known inhabitants of the British Isles were the Celts, who settled in Britain around 500 BC. They were followed by the Romans, who invaded Britain in 43 AD and named it Britannia.

The Anglo-Saxon Era

Following the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Britain was invaded by Germanic tribes known as Anglo-Saxons. They established several kingdoms across England and named them after their respective tribes such as Mercia, Wessex, and Northumbria.

The Norman Conquest

In 1066, William I of Normandy invaded England and defeated King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings. William I became king of England and brought Norman rule to Britain. During this time, England was referred to as Anglia or Englaland.

The Union of Scotland and England

In 1707, Scotland joined with England to form a single nation called Great Britain. This new nation consisted of England, Scotland, and Wales.

The Formation of the United Kingdom

In 1801, Ireland joined with Great Britain to become one nation called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. However, following Irish independence in 1921, Northern Ireland remained part of the UK while Southern Ireland became an independent country.


In conclusion, the UK has had many names throughout its long and complex history. From Britannia to Anglia, from Great Britain to the United Kingdom, its name has evolved along with its political and social landscape. Understanding this history is essential to understanding the modern United Kingdom and its place in the world today.