Which were the main characteristics of the First Settlers of Britain and Ireland?

Expert Answers
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first people to settle in England came before the Ice Age, and left the region when it became too cold. When the glaciers retreated, people settled in what's now Britain. People lived there during the Paleolithic Era, and archaeologists know a good bit about settlers in the area from as far back as 10,000 years ago. They came from continental Europe, in particular Denmark, and were hunter-gatherers, using stone ("lithic") tools. Later Neolithic arrivals like the Beaker people came around 5000 years ago. (This is about when Stonehenge was constructed.) Many other Neolithic peoples lived in the region before being displaced by the Celts, who settled in Britain and Ireland around 600-500 BCE. They used bronze weapons and tools and practiced settled agriculture. Vestiges of their language can still be heard in some areas in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and among Manx islanders. They were in turn invaded first by Romans, and then Anglo-Saxon peoples.