Before the Roman Empire paid their visit, most houses in Great Britain would have been rounded reed huts with beaten dirt floors. Roman Houses however, were a step upwards as far as creature comforts were concerned - especially if you were wealthy.
In the major towns of Roman Britain, citizens would have lived in apartment-style accommodation. These apartments were usually made from wattle and daub, and could have been up to six stories high.
Living conditions in Roman Houses would have been primitive if you were a member of the poorer class. Cooking quarters were rare. Fire was a real concern in these one-room residences when home-cooking was a must.
Built with the ground floor being used as a shop, the upper floors would feature one room living quarters. Several generations of a family might share this small space.
Sanitary facilities were either shared in the basement, or public latrines had to be utilized. Toilet paper not yet having been invented, a sponge on a stick was the method for cleanliness.
Running water into these Roman houses was not the norm. Water would have been carried from the public well, and most probably up several flights of stairs.
Some residents of Roman Houses would have had problems getting their Landlords to maintain the property - despite rents often being high - some things never change!
Article by "Tudor Rose"
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