Britain was part of the Roman Empire for over 350 years. The Romans arrived in AD 43 and left in 410 and during this period they built eight thousand miles of road. Pre-Roman Britain already had an Iron-Age culture, however the society and economy was almost entirely rural and it was the Romans who introduced urban culture and architecture.
The arrival of the Roman military also meant the coming of professional architects to Britain. It was then that Britain saw an influx of structures and shapes which had never been seen before on British soil.
The construction of vaults, arches and domes, foreshadowing medieval architecture, was above all a Roman achievement, as was construction using mortar, concrete and fired bricks. These styles of construction were new to a remote province like Britain and are still being used today.
Roman architects were also responsible for designing specialised structures to help with everyday life. These included roads, bridges, aqueducts and piped water supplies, sewers and sophisticated heating systems. This helps demonstrate just how influential Roman architecture was.
It is clear the Roman conquest transformed the physical appearance of Britain, especially its towns and cities, through their layout and design, the materials and techniques used.
Materials used by Romans, such as concrete, have been adopted by architects and are still being used today. Public architecture such as theatres, town halls and baths are still part of modern society as well as their design of domestic homes. The Roman’s introduction of dwellings with multiple floors is also an important development in modern architecture, and has seen the emergence of blocks of flats across Britain. It could be said that without the Romans coming to Britain in AD 43 Britain would not as advanced architecturally as it is today.