The Romans built some very grand buildings which reflected
how powerful they were. Temples and government buildings,
and even the homes of the very rich Romans, were built of
stone or brick with pillars, arches, statues and mosaic floors.
There had never been buildings like these in London before
and they were very expensive to build, the stone had to come
from miles away as there was none in London. The walls were
often painted a terracotta colour. Terracotta is a type of
pottery that is a pinkish brown colour.
The roofs were made of terracotta tiles and they had drainage
and heating under the floor. The Romans even made concrete!
This must have been very impressive to the average Londoner
who before the Romans arrived lived in a roundhouse made of
wood with a thatched roof.
Even when the Romans ruled England most Londoners continued
to live very simply in timber framed houses with wattle and
daub walls and thatched or wooden roofs. Wattle and daub is
made by weaving branches (wattle) together and covering them
in mud (daub).
No one knows if anyone lived in Hackney during this time,
but if they did, unless they were a wealthy Roman, they would
have lived in a one or two-roomed wooden house like this.
It would have been a very hard life without heating or a bathroom
and without even any furniture. People would get their water
from a stream, cook on a fire and sleep on the floor.
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