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Going back as far as the Roman times, in ancient Rome Man has started using stone to protect drain covers.
The layman term for drain cover (grate) is manhole cover. Say http://wiki.myword.ru/index.php?title=Ways-to-Get-the-Best-Results-With-Your-Garden-Design-o cover" and images of spies/heros making use of the underground sewage system popping out of manhole cover in Hollywood films appear.
Historically since that time Man invented the sewage system since the Roman Times to drain water and urban waste away for sanitation purposes, manhole covers (drain covers or grates as we prefer