Although the domestic shops and houses were rebuilt in wood after the fire, the public buildings began to be constructed in stone and tile on a grand scale. The stone needed for constructing the public buildings had to be shipped from the Medway area of Kent, as London, although it had plenty of wood for building, had no local source of building stone (see Public building programmes in Public life).
Recent work in London has shown that a number of the timber-framed buildings were prefabricated. The walls varied between mud brick and wattle and daub with a coating of plaster. They had beaten earth or timber floors and thatched or planked roofs.
After a large area of the town was again destroyed, this time by an accidental fire in AD125-130, little could be done to save the shops and houses still built of wood. This time rebuilding was selective and some areas were left undeveloped.
Houses of the wealthy began to be built in stone, like the public buildings, often with underfloor heating systems, mosaic floors and tiled roofs, while the working classes still lived in timber-framed houses. This was to remain the case until the end of the Roman period.
Research on these houses and their contents is now making it possible to see how fashions changed over time. These fashions were influenced by trade supply routes as well as choice and cost. There was a wide choice between ceramic, glass and metal tableware and many of these vessels and utensils have survived in the damp and waterlogged conditions of Roman London.
For the purposes of this review, it has been possible to divide the types of housing and their contents into periods of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries and show reconstructions of how some of these houses may have looked. Specific objects mentioned in the text and more examples can be found in the online Household catalogue as part of this website.
The information contained here is extracted from specialist reports produced specifically for this website project by Angela Wardle (Roman finds), Fiona Seeley (ceramics), Anne Davies (envionmental) and Damian Goodburn (ancient timbers) from Museum of London Archaeology and Kevin Rielly (animal bones) from Pre-Construct Archaeology.