Cade's Road

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Cade's Road near Middleton One Row

Cade's Road is a postulated Roman road in Yorkshire and County Durham. 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. Although evidence exists for such a road on some parts of the proposed route, there is still some doubt regarding its exact course.[1] The road's Roman name is unknown.


From the Humber to the Tees

Cade's Road began at Brough-on-Humber where there was a ferry, a Roman fort and civilian settlement (Petuaria) 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 York (Eboracum). 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)[2] near Middleton St George and Middleton One Row.

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) near Sedgefield. 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.[3] The road ran past the Roman fort of Concangis (Chester-le-Street).[4] 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 Arbeia at South Shields. 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.

Outside links


  1. Selkirk (2001) pages 212-217
  2. Selkirk (2001) page 217
  3. Selkirk (2001) pages 214-217
  4. Selkirk (2001) pages 212-213
  • Graham, Frank (1979). The Roman Wall: comprehensive history and guide. Newcastle upon Tyne: Frank Graham. pp. 242–244. ISBN 0-85983-140-X. 
  • Selkirk, Raymond (1995). On the Trail of the Legions. Ipswich: Anglia Publishing. pp. 94, 95, 215, 329. ISBN 1-897874-08-1. 
  • Selkirk, Raymond (2001). Chester-le-Street and Its Place in History. Washington: Northern Archaeology Group. pp. 212–217, 221. ISBN 1-900456-05-2.