How did people travel in Roman Britain?
In Roman times people travelled on land on horseback, in carts pulled by oxen, or walking. Before the Romans, Britain had no proper roads. The Roman soldiers built good roads. All the roads they built were remarkably straight. The Romans knew that the shortest distance from one place to another is a straight line, but their roads did zigzag sometimes, to make going uphill easier.
The Romans built their roads on foundations of clay, chalk and gravel. They laid bigger flat stones on top. The road sloped from the middle to ditches either side, so rain water drained off.
What was it like in Roman Britain?
Most of Roman Britain was wild, with forests and hills where few people lived. Away from the towns, people lived in villages of round wooden houses with thatched roofs, much as they had before the Romans arrived. Some wealthy Romans lived in villas. Villas were large farms with a big house for the owners. Servants and farm workers lived in small wooden houses. Villas had rooms with painted walls and mosaic floors, baths and central heating. Most of the Roman villas found by archaeologists are in the south of England.
What were Roman towns like?
The Romans built towns in Britain, with walls and gates to let people in and out. Before the Romans came, people lived in villages, though some big settlements were like towns but with only wooden buildings. Roman builders used stone, brick and tiles. Some Roman towns were built at Celtic places. For example, Calleva Atrebatum was a Roman town built on a settlement of the Atrebates tribe. Its modern name is Silchester.
Roman towns were neatly laid out. Streets criss-crossed. There were shops, workshops, houses and yards for animals. People gathered in the market and meeting area, the forum. The basilica was both a law court and town hall. Many Roman towns had public baths, open to everyone, and an amphitheatre. By AD 100, London was the biggest town in Roman Britain.
Is Manchester a Roman town?
If a place-name has 'chester' or 'cester' in it (from castrum, the Roman word for a fort), it's almost certainly Roman. Many towns grew up close to or on the site of a Roman fort. Examples are Chester, Gloucester, and Manchester. You can probably find more.
What were the finest Roman homes?
The biggest and grandest Roman homes were villas and rulers' palaces. The governor of Britain had a palace in London. Another palace was beside the sea, at Fishbourne (near Chichester in West Sussex). Archaeologists have uncovered the ruins. The house had about 100 rooms, an underfloor heating system, and lots of mosaics. You can still see some today.