The Roman Bath, York
In the city of York, beneath The Roman Bath Pub, are the remains of a caldarium, or steam bath, from the Roman city of Eboracum. This city was built by the 9th Legion Hispana in 71 AD and occupied by the Romans for nearly 350 years.
During our recent trip to York, we went to visit this fascinating historical site. The bath house complex was historically a favourite place for the Roman soldiers to socialise as well as a place to get clean. The complex was open from dawn to dusk and offered a health spa, food, drink and toilets with running water. There was also a gymnasium and it is speculated that there may have been a swimming pool. Various rooms offered different grades of heat from cold to very hot.
The caldarium was a hot and steamy room heated by a hypocaust or underfloor heating system using tunnels with hot air and heated by a furnace tended by slaves. We could see the remains of the pillars which supported the floor. In the caldarium, there would originally have been a plunge bath of hot water sunk into the floor.
The soldiers would have applied olive oil to their bodies to cleanse themselves and removed the excess using a tool called a strigil which was designed for removing dirt, perspiration and oil from the body.
Next we saw the remains of the frigidarium, the cold bath. According to the literature provided at the Roman Bath, the soldiers would exercise in the gm and freshen up in the cold bath. They would then move on to the various heated rooms in order to build up their body heat slowly.
We saw four tiles found on the site, two of these clearly show the impact of nails from the sandals of Romans who trod upon them before the tile had hardened after being made. Two other tiles appear to show the seal of the 9th Roman legion, who founded the city of Eboracum in 71 AD.
How does this relate to Through the Nethergate
My new book, Through the Nethergate features both Nero and Caligula, both exceptionally evil Roman Emperors, as minor characters. You will have to read the book to find out how these two men become involved with Margaret, the heroine in Through the Nethergate, but I can treat you to a short extract:
“The door to the stairwell opened and two men entered the hall. One of the men wore a loose robe of bright-coloured silk with a handkerchief bound about his neck. His hair was cropped into a bowl shape on top with longer strands curling around his neck. The other man had shorter hair and wore a long-sleeved tunic covered by an embroidered cloak covered with precious stones. He also wore bracelets.
As they advanced towards Lucifer, his eyes lit up with a savage delight. “Ah, Nero and Caligula, how delightful to see you both. May I introduce you to Hugh Bigod and Margaret?” Lucifer did not extend his introduction to the other members of Hugh’s party. “Pleased to meet you,” Hugh and Margaret greeted the newcomers simultaneously. They had learned from Lucifer’s earlier lessons.”
“Nero and Caligula are going to keep an eye on your friends and you, Hugh. Trust has to be earned, you know that, don’t you?” Lucifer clapped Hugh on the back so hard he almost fell and smashed head-first into the floor.
Within minutes, the travellers were all squashed inside the coach, ready to journey to their unknown destination. Lucifer gave clear directions to the coachman’s head and then climbed aboard. A few short moments later, they were moving at a steady pace back up towards the earth’s surface.”
Through the Nethergate
Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
It is available from Lulu.com here: Lulu.com
It is also available from TSL Publications as a soft copy book here: TSL Publications
It will be available on Amazon in a few weeks’ time.
About the author
Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton).
All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differentiate her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.
Find and follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle
While the Bombs Fell
What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.
Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.
Robbie also writes as Robbie Cheadle
The Sir Chocolate books are a delightful marriage of story, verse and cookery
… a perfect recipe for sharing with children. Silly Willy goes to Cape Town tells the adventures of two very different brothers…and includes five party cake ideas.
You can purchase the Sir Chocolate books from:
or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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