Sir Tony Robinson visits Fishbourne Roman Palace for new documentary

Sir Tony Robinson has visited Fishbourne Roman Palace as part of a new mini documentary looking into the origins of modern building techniques..

The documentary was written and presented by actor and popular historian, Sir Tony Robinson, and commissioned by Checkatrade.

The content was created after a survey revealed 74 per cent of Brits are unaware that the Romans were instrumental in developing common modern-day trades like underfloor heating, with many believing they were invented much later.

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The new poll of 2,000 UK adults also found that one in five (19 per cent) thought underfloor heating was created in the 20th century and only 35 per cent correctly identified that the Romans had brought plumbing to Britain.

To help shine a light on the Roman techniques that are still used by trades today, Sir Tony Robinson worked with Checkatrade on an entertaining and educational mini documentary, which is available to view at and YouTube.

Fishbourne Roman Palace thanks donors for their ‘amazing generosity’Sir Tony Robinson, who wrote and presented the mini documentary, said: “I love using my passion for history to shine a light on little-known facts – with three quarters of us unaware that the Romans used many of the building techniques we take for granted now, it’s fascinating to highlight the Roman innovations that are still popular amongst homeowners and tradespeople so many centuries later.”

In the documentary, Sir Tony Robinson takes plumber, Danny on a journey through time, visiting Fishbourne Roman Palace in West Sussex to show him how the skills he uses in his daily life were also used by Roman builders thousands of years ago.

Southampton's Mayflower confirms reopening dates and showsFrom underfloor heating, which appeared in Britain shortly after the Roman invasion of AD 43, to other trades from nearly 2,000 years ago such roof tiling, glazing, plastering and painting rooms, these Roman skills are still very much in demand today – and growing.

Sir Tony Robinson at Fishbourne Roman Palace

In fact, according to Checkatrade, searches for glazing have soared 142 per cent year-on-year, with plastering and painting also seeing a 119 per cent and 111 per cent year-on-year increase, respectively.

Checkatrade CEO Mike Fairman said: “We hear the expression ‘jobs for life’ but working as a trade means you have a job for millennia. Skills such as painting and plastering have truly stood the test of time.

"Not only have they existed since Roman times, they are also more in demand than ever, with searches on hitting an all-time high last month.”

To watch the mini documentary on Checkatrade please visit and explore the site to meet all your home renovation and maintenance needs.