Sunday, October 1

It wasn’t all togas and grapes

When most people think of the Romans they think of people sat around in togas with laurel wreaths on their heads feeding each other grapes. This is a very movie inspired view and life for many Romans was no where near this. We can credit the Romans with many different inventions that we either utilise today or have taken the bare bones of and adapted to suit our needs. Heating is one such item. The installation of heating systems is slightly more technical now rather than being based on building techniques like it was in the past. We are lucky enough now to be able to have companies like who are a Boiler Repair Gloucester company that help with all of your boiler related issues.

Nowadays we are lucky to be able to heat our homes at the flick of a switch and by using the services

High class Roman families were big fans of the bath house with many Roman villas containing their own bath house within their home set up. Roman engineers found a way to heat these based on a similar method to the Korean Ondols or around 1000BC.

The Ondols used the heat from the stove that was used for cooking. The heat was stored below a stone floor and radiated upwards throughout the rest of the day. The method was extremely efficient although the capability of heating the rooms was confined to the times during which food was being cooked.

Roman engineers used a similar system in their hypocausts. The furnace would be lit and would burn fuel throughout the day. The heat was directed through a small channel into a space between the floor of the bath house next door. Through an elaborate formation of columns in the floor space the hot air would become trapped and would slowly radiate through the floor heating the room above. The furnace was not just used to heat food and so the bath house would be continually heated throughout the day. This method has been adapted throughout the ages as forms of underfloor heating and house heating that used hot air systems.

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There are some incredible examples of Roman hypocausts that have been preserved and can be seen throughout the country. One of the largest Roman settlement areas was that of Corinium which is now modern-day Cirencester. Chedworth Roman Villa is a National Trust property and has on display incredible examples of Roman life and engineering. Almost intact mosaics can be seen, as can the intricate workings of the columns of the hypocaust. Bignor Roman Villa is a Roman villa that has been excavated and then relocated to the Bignor estate in West Sussex and again shows floor mosaics and an incredible hypocaust set up.

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