|Length||226 mi (364 km)|
|Time period|| Roman Britain |
|Isurium, Cataractonium, Morbium, Vinovium, Longovicium, Vindomora, Coria, Onnum, Habitancum, Bremenium, Trimontium, Inveresk , Cramond|
Dere Street or Deere Street is a modern designation of a Roman road which ran north from Eboracum (York), crossing the Stanegate at Corbridge (Hadrian's Wall was crossed at the Portgate, just to the north) and continuing beyond into what is now Scotland, later at least as far as the Antonine Wall. Portions of its route are still followed by modern roads, including the A1 (south of the River Tees), the B6275 road through Piercebridge, where Dere Street crosses the River Tees, and the A68 north of Corbridge in Northumberland.
The Roman name for the route is lost. Its English name corresponds with the post-Roman Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Deira, through which the first part of its route lies. That kingdom possibly took its name from the Yorkshire River Derwent. The term "street" derives from its Old English sense (from Latin : via strata), which referred to any paved road and had no particular association with urban thoroughfares.
Portions of the road in Scotland were later known as St Cuthbert's Way and as the Royal Way (Medieval Latin : Via Regia).
The Roman equivalent of Watling Street, the Antonine Itinerary's 2nd British route, shared Dere Street's trunk road between Eboracum and Cataractonium (Catterick) before branching off to the northwest to communicate with Luguvalium (Carlisle). Owing to this, some stretches or the entirety of Dere Street is sometimes referenced as "Watling Street", a name that appears on the 1885-1900 edition of the Ordnance Survey map for the village of Oxnam.
A small section of the old A68 route north in Corbridge is called Watling Street.It should not, however, be confused with the traditional route between Canterbury and Wroxeter in the south nor with the Carlisle route to its west.
Dere Street roughly corresponds to the Antonine Itinerary's 1st British route as far as Hadrian's Wall, although it began further south than York:
|From the border—that is, from the Wall—to Praetorium,||156 Roman miles.|
|From Bremenium||[ Rochester ],||To Coria [ Corbridge ],||20|
|To Vindomora||[ Ebchester ],||9|
|To Vinovia||[ Binchester ],||19|
|To Cataractonium||[ Catterick ],||22|
|Isurium||[ Aldborough ],||24|
|Eboracum||[ York ],||6th Victorious Leg.,||17|
|To Derventio||[ Malton ],||7|
As the text implies, the road served to allow the legion garrisoned in York quick access to the eastern borderlands and, later, the eastern posts on Hadrian's Wall. The Itinerary's 2nd and 5th British routes—which split off to reach the western territories—share the stations between Eboracum and Cataractonium. The forts along the roads were manned by infantry cohorts and cavalry alae of the Roman army's auxiliaries.
Margary notes that the last entry 25 (XXV) Roman miles is probably in error and should be emended to 15 (XV) Roman miles.
The modern route omits the now-lost road south of Yorkbut continues farther north along Roman roads either omitted by the compiler of the Antonine Itineraries or constructed after his time.
The route begins at York and crosses the River Ure near Aldborough close to Boroughbridge. It crosses the Swale near Catterick. (The ruins of Cataractonium lie just north of Catterick at Scotch Corner.) The A66 road preserves the route of the Roman-era Watling Street, branching off here to cross Stainmore to Penrith and Carlisle at the western end of Hadrian's Wall.
Dere Street crossed the River Tees over a stone arch bridge near the present-day Piercebridge Roman Fort ruins. Such bridges were rare in Roman Britain except for here in the far north.The original bridge was replaced by one on a different alignment. There is evidence of other minor realignments of Dere Street over the Roman period.
The next river crossing occurred over the Wear near present-day Bishop Auckland.At this point, the fort Vinovia guarded a branch road that turned off to the right heading for Durham, Chester-le-Street, and Newcastle. There, the Pons Aelius crossed the River Tyne.
Dere Street, meanwhile, travels onward past Lanchester and Ebchester, the sites of the former forts of Longovicium and Vindomora. At Coria (modern Corbridge), it met the Stanegate road which runs parallel to Hadrian's Wall. 7.7 m or 25 ft) but the depth of metalling on Stanegate—72 cm (28 in) against Dere Street's 30 cm (12 in)—argues for a greater frequency of resurfacing and for greater or heavier traffic. Crossing at Corbridge, the route passed through Portgate on the Wall and passed into lands only tenuously claimed by Rome.Stanegate and Dere Street were originally the same width (roughly
The route passes north into Redesdale and thence into the Cheviot Hills, where there are the remains of marching forts at Fourlaws, West Woodburn (Habitancum), Rochester (Bremenium), and at Chew Green. Cuthbert's Way to Trimontium near Melrose. There, the route crosses the Tweed and follows the Leader Water to the foot of the Lammermuirs, where there is evidence of Roman forts near Oxton.Brementium was the last stop listed for Antonine Itinerary, but the Roman road's remains now lead further, past the present Anglo-Scottish border at Carter Fell near the present A68 road. Nearby, there are the remains of a camp at Pennymuir. Further on, well-preserved sections of the road form part of St
Another well-preserved section rises through the Lammermuirs over Soutra Hill and on to Edinburgh, where Din Eidyn was a stronghold for the British Votadini tribe. Nearby, the Romans held garrisons at Cramond and Inveresk at the eastern end of the Antonine Wall.
In 1994, construction of a garage at Cliffe exposed a section of the Roman road and discovered pottery and tile from the period.Raymond Selkirk suggested that the ruins on the south side of the Tees at Cliffe are the remains of a dam; the archaeological television programme Time Team investigated this in 2009.
Excavations in 2007 at Dun Law, by CFA Archaeology, in advance of the construction of a wind farm access road, uncovered a section of the Dere Street Roman road there. The excavations discovered that this section of the road was laid over a palaeochannel using a latticework of logs and a mat of branchwood. There are only a handful examples of such engineering work in Roman road construction. The archaeologists found that the wood used was locally sourced from the then depleted forests.
Excavations in 2007, by AOC Archaeology, at Newbridge, Edinburgh, discovered a section of the road. This discovery provided solid evidence for the roads location in that area, that the milestone at Ingliston and the temporary camps at Gogar have always intimated.
During the High Middle Ages, the section of the route between Jedburgh and Edinburgh was known as the Royal Way (Latin : Via Regia). It connected the larger part of Scotland with the important ecclesiastic sites of the Scottish Borders. King Malcolm IV established his Church and Hospital of the Holy Trinity halfway along this section to provide succour for the many pilgrims using it.
After the destruction of the Border Abbeys during the "Rough Wooing" of Mary, Queen of Scots, by the Earl of Hertford's forces and during the Reformation of the Scottish Church, the route fell into disuse and disrepair. It was used mainly for driving livestock and occasional travellers daring enough to venture into the lawless border region.
Dere Street continued in use between Durham and York in medieval times. Being limited by daylight, "about thirty miles in a day in winter on horseback and between thirty-six and forty in summer was what a man could do." Tough, vigorous men could walk from Darlington to York, and it was said that the quality of a horse could make the difference between a possible thirty and fifty miles per day. A wish to hear mass or the organisation of a train by the rich could shorten the travelling day to twenty miles.
Roads were described as so muddy and difficult between November and February that to finish the journey by daylight one could barely stop to eat; however a "royal highway" or alta via regia strata was passable in winter between York and Durham, and this could have been Dere Street. Heavy packhorse loads were taken on the route, for example 20 stone (130 kg) of wool. Clerics, traders and the nobility were more likely to travel than others, and some people rarely travelled at all. Travelling in style involved the use of carts for luggage, but carts bogged down in winter mud, so traders with packhorses travelled more easily in winter than the rich.
The Roman conquest of Britain refers to the conquest of the island of Britain by occupying Roman forces. It began in earnest in AD 43 under Emperor Claudius, and was largely completed in the southern half of Britain by 87 when the Stanegate was established. Conquest of the far north and Scotland took longer with fluctuating success.
There are many Roman sites in Great Britain that are open to the public. There are also many sites that do not require special access, including Roman roads, and sites that have not been uncovered.
The Stanegate was an important Roman road built in what is now northern England. It linked many forts including two that guarded important river crossings: Corstopitum (Corbridge) on the River Tyne in the east, and situated on Dere Street, and Luguvalium (Carlisle) on the River Eden in the west. The Stanegate ran through the natural gap formed by the valleys of the River Tyne in Northumberland and the River Irthing in Cumbria. It predated Hadrian's Wall by several decades; the Wall would later follow a similar route, albeit slightly to the north.
Watling Street is a historic route in England that crosses the River Thames at London and which was used in Classical Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and throughout the Middle Ages. It was used by the ancient Britons and paved as one of the main Roman roads in Britannia. The route linked Dover and London in the southeast, and continued northwest via St Albans to Wroxeter. The line of the road was later the southwestern border of the Danelaw with Wessex and Mercia, and Watling Street was numbered as one of the major highways of medieval England.
The A68 is a major road in the United Kingdom, running from Darlington in England to the A720 in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It is the only major road to cross the Anglo-Scottish border for a long distance either way; the next crossings are the A697 road from Coldstream to Cornhill-on-Tweed in the east, and the A7 near Canonbie to the west.
Roman roads in Britannia were initially designed for military use, created by the Roman Army during the nearly four centuries (AD 43–410) that Britannia was a province of the Roman Empire.
Stone Street may refer to:
Northumberland, England's northernmost county, is a land where Roman occupiers once guarded a walled frontier, Anglian invaders fought with Celtic natives, and Norman lords built castles to suppress rebellion and defend a contested border with Scotland. The present-day county is a vestige of an independent kingdom that once stretched from Edinburgh to the Humber, hence its name, meaning literally 'north of the Humber'. Reflecting its tumultuous past, Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England, and the greatest number of recognised battle sites. Once an economically important region that supplied much of the coal that powered the industrial revolution, Northumberland is now a primarily rural county with a small and gradually shrinking population.
Quintus Lollius Urbicus was a Numidian Berber governor of Roman Britain between the years 139 and 142, during the reign of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. He is named in the Historia Augusta, although it is not entirely historical, and his name appears on five Roman inscriptions from Britain; his career is set out in detail on a pair of inscriptions set up in his native Tiddis near Cirta, Numidia.
Piercebridge is a village and civil parish in the borough of Darlington and the ceremonial county of Durham, England. The population of the civil parish as of the 2011 census was 113. It is situated a few miles west of the town of Darlington. It is on the site of a Roman fort of AD 260–270, which was built at the point where Dere Street crossed the River Tees. Part of the fort is under the village green. The village is sited where the York-Newstead Roman road known as Dere Street crosses the River Tees.
Bremenium is an ancient Roman fort (castrum) located at Rochester, Northumberland, England. The fort is one of the defensive structures built along Dere Street, a Roman road running from York to Corbridge and onwards to Melrose. Significantly the fort is a long way north of Hadrian's Wall. It was one of the last forts north of Hadrian's wall to remain occupied until the 270s.
Piercebridge Roman Fort is a scheduled ancient monument situated in the village of Piercebridge on the banks of the River Tees in County Durham, England. There were Romans here from about 70 AD until at least the early 5th century. There was an associated vicus and bath house at Piercebridge, and another vicus and a villa south of the river at Cliffe, Richmondshire. The Victorians used carved stones from this site when they built St Mary's church at Gainford, County Durham. Part of the site is under Piercebridge village green.
Isurium or Isurium of the Brigantes was a Roman fort and town in the province of Britannia at the site of present-day Aldborough in North Yorkshire, England, in the United Kingdom. Its remains—the Aldborough Roman Site—are in the care of English Heritage.
Coria was a fort and town 2.5 miles (4.0 km) south of Hadrian's Wall, in the Roman province of Britannia at a point where a big Roman north–south road bridged the River Tyne and met another Roman road (Stanegate), which ran east–west between Coria and Luguvalium in the Solway Plain. The full Latin name is uncertain. In English, it is known as Corchester or Corbridge Roman Site as it sits on the edge of the village of Corbridge in the English county of Northumberland. It is in the guardianship of English Heritage and is partially exposed as a visitor attraction, including a site museum.
Vindomora was an auxiliary fort on Dere Street, in the province of Lower Britain. Its ruins, now known as Ebchester Roman Fort, are situated at Ebchester in the English county of Durham, to the north of Consett and 12 miles (19 km) west-south-west from Newcastle upon Tyne.
Hadrian's Wall, also known as the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, is a former defensive fortification of the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Running "from Wallsend on the River Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west", the Wall covered the whole width of the island. In addition to the wall's defensive military role, its gates may have been customs posts.
The Devil's Causeway is a Roman road in Northumberland, in North East England. It branches off Dere Street north of Corbridge and can be traced through Northumberland for about 55 miles (89 km) north to Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Cataractonium was a fort and settlement in Roman Britain. The settlement evolved into Catterick, located in North Yorkshire, England.
Blatobulgium was a Roman fort, located at the modern-day site known as Birrens, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
David John Breeze, OBE, FSA, FRSE, HonFSAScot, Hon MIFA is a British archaeologist, teacher and scholar of Hadrian's Wall, the Antonine Wall and the Roman army. He studied under Eric Birley and is a member of the so-called "Durham School" of archaeology. He was a close friend and colleague of the late Dr Brian Dobson.