The Romans In LondonLondon Grid for Learning

Roman Londoners would have spent long days at work. Shop keepers ran fresh food shops, bakeries, taverns or sold their goods from their shops or market stalls. Bakers would have made their loaves using wooden troughs to mix the dough. There was even take-away food, like kebabs, that would have been sold from street stalls. They had various weights and measures so that they could weigh out the goods they were selling.

Numerous craftsmen were needed and workshops were either attached to houses and shops. If the work was noisy, smelly and dirty, they were set away from where people lived but near to a local stream. They needed the water to help make such things as glass vessels and window glass, iron for knives and tools for carpenters and builders, bronze for brooches and measuring tools or leather prepared from animal skins for shoes, clothes and furnishings.

Potteries were set up where there was suitable clay and kilns were built to fire the pots to make them stronger. Some small kilns were in the town where lamps were being made as well as jars, flagons and bowls but a large-scale pottery industry grew up along the main Roman road between London and St Albans in the Stanmore area. Here potters were making everyday kitchen ware – flagons, jars and mixing bowls (mortaria). Other kilns have been found in Highgate Wood and potters went there in the summer months to dig out the clay and make jars there that were fired to an attractive grey or black shine.