EBK Activity Sheets


Roman Houses in Britain
Rectangles were all the Rage

Roman House -  Nash Ford Publishing

  • The Iron Age Britons lived in single-roomed round houses with thatched roofs and walls made from wattle and daub.
  • When the Romans arrived in Britain, they began to build rectangular buildings instead:
  • The walls were usually built of stone. Sometimes they just had stone bases, with wattle and daub on top.
  • The roofs were usually covered in clay tiles or stone slates. Sometimes they had wooden shingles or thatch.
  • They might have one storey or two. They usually had several rooms, each with a different function, like:
    • hall
    • dining room, called a 'triclinium'
    • kitchen
    • bedrooms
    • corridors
  • They were usually heated in Winter by small fires on metal stands called braziers. Rich Romans might have a central heating system called a hypocaust.
  • There were windows, but they usually only had shutters. Window glass was very expensive and rare.
  • Rich Romans might have houses with 'classical' Roman architecture, like lots of columns. They also liked to have pretty gardens outside their homes.
  • Most Romano-Britons in the South, East and Midlands of Britannia adopted these new Roman types of house.
  • Further to the north and west and in more rural areas, old-style British houses remained popular (and cheap).
  • After the Roman army left Britain, building styles changed again.

Click here for information on Roman Temples in Britain.  

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