For nearly three hundred years Britain, reconciled to the Roman system, enjoyed in many respects the happiest, most comfortable, and most enlightened times its inhabitants have ever had. . . .In this period. . . .persons in Britain lived better than they ever did until late Victorian times. from the year 400 till the year 1900 no one had central heating and very few had hot baths. A wealthy British-Roman citizen building a country house regarded the hypocaust which warmed it as indispensable. For fifteen hundred years his descendants lived in the cold of unheated dwellings, mitigated by occasional roastings at gigantic wasteful fires. Even now a smaller proportion of the whole population dwells in centrally heated houses than in those ancient days. As for baths, they were completely lost till the middle of the nineteenth century. In all this long, bleak intervening gap cold and dirt clung to the most fortunate and highest in the land.
In culture and learning Britain was a pale reflection of the roman scene. Not so lively as the Gallic, but there was law; there was order; there was peace; there was warmth; there was food; and a long-established custom of life. The population was free from barbarism without being sunk in sloth or luxury. Some culture spread even to the villages.