The Celtic Peoples in Britain

Maurice GStarred Page By Maurice G, 3rd May 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

General information about the Celtic people who lived in the British isles before the Romans came to conquer.

The Celtic people in Britain.

Before the Romans came to the British isles between 100 and 500 bc, Celtic people came to Britain in small groups, not as an invasion but in individual tribes. In fact the fighting that they had was between themselves and the thought of an invasion was basically impossible. They were scattered all over the land when there was no England, Scotland and Wales.

Bringing the use of iron to Britain they had no central government and were warriors who were more interested in fighting amongst themselves and other Celts, their main aim in life was to fight and plunder each other to be top dog.

Because iron was easily found this started trading and made the individual tribes more self contained.

Hill Forts

The Celtic hill fort was very basic, just a matter of ditches and banks built into a circle. Their size was usually very small and in some cases were only big enough for a family to defend themselves. Over time though they did start getting bigger to house a whole tribe.
Usually these forts contained no water so were not used as long term enforcements.

Celtic peoples families were basically an extended family called a clan, one or two clans would join together forming a tribe. These tribes had their own social structure and it is possible that each tribe had their own god.

Housing and Farming

The Celts lived in huts made of arched wood with thatched roofs and walls of made of wicker. Many tribes had their own coinage.

The Celtic people brought the use of an iron plough to Britain, so this is something that the Romans did not bring although they did bring a lot. The fields of the Celts tendered to be of long narrow strips of land, Evidence of this can still be found in various locations in Britain now.

These people also had their own written language and this was evident well into Christian times, Handed down by bards and druids.


Iv`e heard a lot of nonsense about druids, they were of a type of upper class Celt who in a lot of circumstances had more power than the king. They were priests, teachers, political go betweens and healers. Because of their knowledge they helped to cement the peoples together.

The Celts loved war, if there was nothing going on then they would start one. Sometimes they were naked and very often would paint themselves in bright colours. Screaming wild men was the norm to scare their enemies. Sometimes they would wear gold breastplates and shields, this would give them some pride.
Chariots were in use also, drawn by two horses they would spear their foe before dismantling, then they would fight with heavy slashing swords.
After the battle they would behead their enemy, this gave them respect among other Celts, Some had quite a collection of skulls.

The main problem with the Celts was that they could not put up a united front as they were always fighting between themselves, this is why the Romans conquered with relative ease.

Queen Boudicca

It was not just the men who were warriors, the women also fought. One of the famous one`s was Queen Boudicca. She actually put up the greatest fight against the Romans and was one person who was able to unite the Celts as as a fighting force until eventually she got beaten. This of of course is another story to be told at a later time.

All in all the the Celts brought a lot of innovations to Britain but eventually they were pushed into the countries we know now as Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Maurice G

The Leek - Emblem of Wales


Breastplate, Celtic, Chariot, Clan, Farming, History, Plough, Queen, Romans, Scattered, Shield, Tribes, Warriors

Meet the author

author avatar Maurice G
I am retired, have worked in the leisure industry for abpout 40 tears, I am married with 2 grown up biproducts.
In this trade I have met peoples from all over the world !

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author avatar Delicia Powers
3rd May 2012 (#)

Great history and page, thank you Maurice...

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author avatar Pradeep Kumar B
4th May 2012 (#)

A good lesson in history. Thank you, Maurice What is the condition of Celts now? Are they in the main stream?

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author avatar Maurice G
4th May 2012 (#)

Not really Pradeep, tend to specialise in wales, scotland and wales, makes us a little different to the english

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th May 2012 (#)

most interesting always fascinated by the Druids and Celts...thank you

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