Cade's Road

Roman Road

Cade’s Road is a Roman Road in north-east England. It is named after John Cade of Durham, an 18th-century antiquarian who in 1785 proposed its existence and possible course from the Humber Estuary northwards to the River Tyne, a distance of about 100 miles (160 km). The road’s Roman name is unknown. Although evidence exists for such a road on some parts of the proposed route, there is still some doubt regarding its exact course. Cade’s Road is believed to have been built between 138 and 161 AD. (This was a decade or more after the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, which began in 122 AD, and before the Romans withdrew from the Antonine Wall, further north, in 163 AD.)

Cade’s Road From the Humber to the Tees

Cade’s Road began at Brough where there was a ferry, a Roman fort and civilian settlement Petuaria (Brough-on-Humber) alongside a major Celtic settlement. The road ran northwards through Thorpe le Street and Market Weighton, before gradually turning westwards (possibly following the line of another Roman road) until it reached Roman Eboracum (York). From York it continued northwards to Thornton-le-Street near Thirsk and on to cross the River Tees (on a stone bridge now gone, but stones of which are incorporated into local buildings) near Middleton St George and Middleton One Row, where ‘Pounteys Lane’ is possibly named after the Roman Pons Tees (Bridge of Tees).

Cade’s Road From the Tees to the Tyne

From the Tees the road heads north through Sadberge and then Great Stainton (also known as Stainton-le-Street) and passing through Sedgefield Roman Settlement. The route of the road in the Durham area is unknown, but it is thought the road passed east of Durham City, crossing the River Wear at Kepier. The road ran past the Concangis Roman Fort (Chester-le-Street). Concangis is the only known Roman fort on the road between York and Newcastle. From Concangis the road headed north through Birtley to Wrekenton, once a village but now a suburb of Gateshead. From Wrekenton, a branch road, known as the Wrekendyke, headed north-east to the Roman fort and harbour of South Shield (Arbeia). It has been conjectured that the site of a Roman fort exists on the golf course at Wrekenton, but this has never been confirmed. Cade’s Road continued north from Wrekenton along Gateshead High Street and crossed the Tyne over the Roman bridge of Pons Aelius (Newcastle upon Tyne). It is not believed that the road continued north of Hadrian’s Wall.

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