The Romans In LondonLondon Grid for Learning

Poorer houses were built with a timber-frame and had either wattle and daub or mud brick walls. They were often very damp as they had no real floors, just earth. The richer houses, however, like the public buildings, were built in stone. Some rooms had plain or patterned mosaic floors made of small clay and stone cubes (tesserae). These were difficult to make and required specialist craftsmen who would have had favourite patterns that they included in his designs.

The better houses had clay tiled roofs while poorer houses were either wooden or thatched. The tiles, made in local brickyards, were left out to dry before being hardened in a kiln. Some had the stamp of the Procurator of the Province of Britain and were used on government buildings. There were two types of roof tile: one was flat (tegula); the other was curved (imbrex) and fitted over the flat tile to stop the water getting in. Roofs in the Mediterranean today have something similar. Another type of square tile was smaller and they were piled up into stacks to support the floor of the heating system (hypocaust). Hot air flowed underneath the raised floor.

The Romans obviously worried about security and kept their doors locked and belongings locked away in chests. Archaeologists find numbers of keys: some are big and heavy and would have been used to lock their front doors, others are very small and were sometimes worn as finger-rings. They were probably used for jewellery boxes.

  • Title: Large iron key for a door

    Category: Buildings

    Image size: 3008 x 2000