Guest author: Robbie Cheadle ~ The Roman Bath, York

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.

Roman caldarium remains at the Roman Bath in York. Photograph by Robbie Cheadle

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.

Frigidarium at the Roman Bath in York, photograph by Robbie Cheadle

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.

Purchase links

It is available from here:

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

Roberta Writes Blog   Amazon Author Page    Twitter    Facebook

While the Bombs Fell

TSL Publications     Lulu

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

Robbie’s Inspiration Blog      Goodreads    Facebook    YouTube

Amazon author page   Twitter: @bakeandwrite

Books by Robbie and Michael 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:

Amazon    TSL Books

or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at

Tell me a story…

If you are a writer, artist or photographer…If you have a poem, story or memoirs to share… If you have a book to promote, a character to introduce, an exhibition or event to publicise… If you have advice for writers, artists or bloggers…

If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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56 Responses to Guest author: Robbie Cheadle ~ The Roman Bath, York

  1. Thank you for having me over today with this post, Sue. I really enjoyed our visit to the Roman Baths.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. memadtwo says:

    I always like the way you bring history to life Robbie. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ritu says:

    I’d love to go!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Darlene says:

    York is such a Roman City. Some great info here, Robbie and a great teaser to your next book.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Mary Smith says:

    I’ve been to the ones in Bath some years ago. Fascinating.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I can’t imagine being surrounded by that kind of history- so interesting!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Pingback: Guest author: Robbie Cheadle – The Roman Bath, York – Roberta Writes

  8. Jane Risdon says:

    Fab I love history and this certainly brings what you saw to life, and I can well imagine your books are alive and real and have great impact on children and adults alike. Fab writing and wishing you much success. Thanks Sue for hosting her.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Norah says:

    That’s a lot of interesting English Roman history I hadn’t heard before. The scraper for cleansing sounds interesting. That’s one way of getting clean. I don’t like the sound of the frigidarium though. brrr!
    Thanks for sharing some of Through the Nethergate. Intriguing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mae Clair says:

    What intriguing history with the Roman baths. And it’s interesting to think they used olive oil. It must have been a fascinating place to visit.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Terrific post as always Robbie.. They were so advanced in many areas but certainly their bathroom facilities were exceptional… interesting that when they left these all went to pot and it would the Victorians before we starting getting our stuff together in places like bath.. as for flushing toilets inside a building that was way ahead of its time.. thanks Sue for sharing..hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for this interesting story, Robbie! What would we have done without the Roman vacation here? LoL Look in difference at our car industries Michael.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, you are right about that Michael. The Roman’s had a very advanced technological culture which is incredible. They were also very cruel. I always think of the gladiators and fights at the Colosseum when I think of the ancient Romans, so the bad and not the good.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. johnrieber says:

    Great bit of history and a short snippet from the book to whet our appetite as well – bravo Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. dgkaye says:

    Fabulous post and images Rpbbie. How amazing to see such history. I look very forward to the book 😉 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Joan Hall says:

    I enjoyed the history lesson. The Romans were ingenious. Your book sounds very intriguing!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I’m intrigued, Robbie. I think you have found a genre that really suits you! I can’t wait to read your book! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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