Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/42

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22
WARMING ROMAN VILLAS

fed the flue pipes introduced into the walls. Thus the houses were well warmed, though no fireplace or heating arrangement was visible, and it is interesting to note that, for warming the last and newest Sanatorium in England, this system has been adopted. The floors were elaborately pieced together in mosaic. The foundation was composed of concrete, made of pounded lime and bricks, sometimes nearly a foot thick. The mosaic patterns were composed of cubes of various colours in stone, terra-cotta or glass. Thus the floors were fire-proof, durable, beautiful, and easy to clean.

Not only was there a feeling for warmth and cleanliness among the Romans and Romanised British, but sanitary arrangements were carefully made. There was a regular water supply: large leaden mains were laid under the paving of the streets, branching off to the houses. These led to cisterns, from which descending supply pipes were laid on to various parts of the house, as in our systems of to-day. Neatly finished watercocks and draw-taps facilitated the supply, while the turncocks in the mains had movable key handles which rivalled those in modern use.