The Story of the Union timeline - Houses of History

The Story of the Union timeline - Houses of History

This animated timeline provides a fun way to explore the story of the Union of the four countries in the United Kingdom.

Resources quick links


The articles, images and animations examine the relationship of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, from the William Wallace trial at Westminster in 1305 to devolution in 1999.

Time required: 30 minutes plus optional writing activity.

Students can:

  • Follow a timeline highlighting key historical events such as Henry VIII giving votes to MPs in Wales in 1536 and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament
  • Find out about eight moments of history and watch an animation of 100 Irish MPs and 32 Irish Lords joining the union in 1801
  • Travel through time and create their own project to illustrate the union of the four countries, using images and quotations collected from the timeline
  • Take a writing challenge: write a short article identifying the key dates and events that led to the union between the four nations

Learning outcomes

All students should:

  • Understand the story of how four countries came together and why, by following a historical chronology and reading further background articles.
  • Learn about the background to devolution in 1999 when a law created separate parliaments for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Evaluate a range of historical sources through images, animations, articles and links to further
      information on recommended websites

All students could:

  • Create a project using a template of a newspaper article and add images and quotations collected from the timeline
  • Take part in a writing challenge to develop skills of interpreting key dates, events, evidence and understanding changes that take place over a period of time
  • There are more detailed links to the curriculum

Practical information

  • Houses of History requires Flash version 10 or later
  • You can download this free software and the latest version is: Flash plug-in (link opens in new window)
  • Access the Help screen by clicking the button marked '?' at the top right of the resource
  • The resource is best viewed with a fast internet connection due to the number of images and  animations



Image credits

Image credits

Picture credits and copyright information for images in the story of the Union timeline.

pdf file - 39 KB

Writing challenge: the story of the Union

Writing challenge: the story of the Union

Challenge your students to write an article for American students explaining the events that led to the union between the four nations of the United Kingdom.

pdf file - 54 KB
PDF download

Related teaching resources


Scottish devolution source materials activity


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