Dere Street

Roman Road

Dere Street Roman Road was built by occupying Romans in AD 79—81. It was reused during the time of the Antonine Wall, some 60 years later. It also found use in 1298, when King Edward I of England marched his forces north along Dere Street to the Battle of Falkirk.

Dere Street or Deere Street is a modern designation of a Roman road which ran north from Roman Eboracum (York), crossing the Stanegate at Corbridge (Corstopitum) (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 (Morbium), 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).

Watling Street and Dere Street

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.

Antonine Itinerary’s 1st British route

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:


A limite id est a vallo Praetorio usque mpm clvi

[From the frontier, that is, from the entrenchments (Hadrian’s Wall), all the way to Praesidium one-hundred and fifty-six thousand paces]

  • A Bremenio [= Bremenivm = High Rochester, Northumberland]
  • Corstopitum xx [= Corstopitvm = Corbridge, Northumberland]
  • Vindomora viiii [= Vindomora = Ebchester, Durham]
  • Vinovia xviiii [= Vinovivm = Binchester, Durham]
  • Cataractoni xxii [= Cataractonivm = Catterick, North Yorkshire]
  • Isurium xxiiii [= Isvrivm = Aldborough, North Yorkshire]
  • Eburacum, leg. vi victrix, xvii [= Ebvracvm = York, North Yorkshire] [home of Legio Sextae Victrix]
  • ?Derventione vii [?= Derventio = Malton, North Yorkshire?] [?= Stamford Bridge, Humberside?] [?= nr. Claxton, North Yorkshire?]
  • Delgovicia xiii [?= Delgovicia = nr. Millington, Humberside?] [?= nr. Wetwang, Humberside?] [?= Derventio = Malton, North Yorkshire?]
  • Praetorio xxv [?= Praesidivm = Bridlington, Humberside?] [?= Petuaria = Brough-on-Humber, Humberside?]
  • (Total 156)
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