British Isles Place Names

by Historical Dates

Posted Feb 27, 2019
Last Updated Feb 27, 2019


Antiquity until 200 AD, Ireland, Ancient Britain

     Example: Tara , Meath, Ireland, Ancient Britain

200 AD (Old Celtic Kings) through 926 – Kingdom of Ireland, Ancient Britain

     Example:  Tara, Meath, Kingdom of Ireland, Ancient Britain

927 (High Kings come into power) -1 Jan 1800 – Kingdom of Ireland, Great Britai

     Example:  Tara, Meath, Kingdom of Ireland, Great Britain

1 Jan 1800 (Ireland joins UK) to Dec 1922 

    Example:  Tara, Meath, Ireland, United Kingdom


Dec 1922 – Present (Counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone – Ulster, United Kingdom

    Example:  Belfast, Antrim, Ulster, United Kingdom

Dec 1922 – Dec 1937 – Irish Free State (rest of counties except 6 that remained in UK)

    Example:  - Dublin, Fingal, Irish Free State

Dec 1937 – Present – Republic of Ireland (rest of counties except 6 that remained in UK)

    Example:  Dublin, Fingal, Republic of Ireland


Antiquity to 1000 – Scotland didn’t exist.  The proper name was Alba and the inhabitants were a mixture of Picts, Scots, Vikings, Romans

    Example:  Dunfermline, Fife, Alba, Ancient Britain

1000 until 1 May 1707, Kingdom of Scotland, Great Britain

    Example:  Dunfermline, Fife, Kingdom of Scotland, Great Britain

1 May 1707 to Present – Scotland, United Kingdom

    Example: Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom


Antiquity to 500 – (Tribal).  The country was roughly divided into Celtic principalities of  Deceangli, Gangani, Ordovices, Silures, and Demetae These are not usually referred to in the place name. 

If a tribe is identified, then it is added as a suffix to the name of the person.  Example:  Elystan of the Silures, and the place is usually modernized to show the current location if known. 

After the Roman occupation ended in 410, the Celtic principalities were gradually replaced by Welsh Tribes and divided into separate kingdoms, Gwynedd, Powys, Deheubarth, Brycheniog, Morgannwg, and Gwent.  

     Example:  Castel Madoc, Kingdom of Brycheniog, Wales, Ancient Britain

1282 Wales was divided in Counties.  Great Britain until 1 May 1707.

    Example:  Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales, Great Britain

1 May 1707 (Formation of UK) to 1996. 

   Example:   Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales, United Kingdom          

1996 – The Counties were changed to a series of new counties based on the Old Welsh Tribal Counties and also into a series of 22 Council Areas.  Many of the old Norman named counties also have Celtic Names.  Either can be used in recording places.

    Example:  Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, United Kingdom

    Example:  Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdom   –or-

                     Carmarthen, Sir Gaerfyrddin, Wales, United Kingdom


Antiquity until 450 – Various Tribes in Ancient Britain also Romans

    Example:  St Ives, Dumnonia, Ancient Britain

450 to 750 – Six Kingdoms – Vikings, Danes, Anglo Saxons

            Kingdom of Northumbria , Ancient Britain

            Kingdom of Mercia , Ancient Britain

Kingdom of Wessex , Ancient Britain

Kingdom of Essex , Ancient Britain

Kingdom of Kent, Ancient Britain

Kingdom of Sussex , Ancient Britain

                      Example:  St Ives, Cornwall, Kingdom of Sussex, Ancient Britain 

750 to 1 May 1707 – Kingdom of England, Great Britain  (Saxons, Normans)

    Example:  :  St Ives, Cornwall, Kingdom of England, Great Britain

1 May 1707 to Present – England, United Kingdom

    Example:  St Ives, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom

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