There is a fascinating story to be told of the struggle between the Celts, the Romans, Scots, Picts Angles Saxons Jutes Danes for control of the British Isles. There is much to see: where legions once camped the hill forts defended by the Celts. The Saxon shore forts and the sites of the struggles of the Dark Ages. There are legends as well as history. Legends from the Norse sagas and the tales of King Arthur.
The Norman invasion is one of the best known military stories of England. But it is much more than 1066 and the battle of Hastings. The era involves the Danes and Noresmen as well as the Scots and Welsh. Even after the invasion there was fighting between the Normans and the Saxons and between Norman factions. for the next hundred years.
The Hundred Years War: 1340-1453
The Fourteenth century wars of the houses of Lancaster and York have become known as the Wars of the Roses.
The Tudor Wars 1485-1603
During the reign of Henry VIII and his children there were a series of wars against France, Scotland and Spain and rebels at home and abroad. This also was the time of the Tudor occupation of Ireland.
The series of wars which engulfed the British Isles for over a decade are probably the most costly in terms of the lives lost. They resulted in the ten year experiment of the military dictatorship of the Commonwealth.
Between 1700-1800 the British and French waged a second hundred years war, in Europe and across the world. Wars that stretched from Marlborough to the Duke of Wellington.
The First World War was the most costly war fought by the British Empire in terms of the numbers engaged and casualties. Britain was a training base for a vast army. Its cities were the targets for the world’s first strategic bombing campaign and its ports were bombarded by the German navy.
The Cold War
The Cold war between the nuclear armed power blocs of NATO and the Warsaw Pact have left a substantial legacy. These include the air bases, the defences against nuclear attacks as well as the now retired weapons. It is also possible to see much of the legacy of the espionage war as fictionalised in the books and films of Ian Fleming and John Le Carre.