Clennell Street

Clennell Street is about as ancient a road as there is. A busy causeway since ancient times, Clennell has been in use for thousands of years, a constant part of a larger network of tracks over the Cheviot Hills. On William Roy’s map of the 1740s it is identified as the ‘Road from Morpeth to Kelso’. Along the route can be found Iron Age hillforts, as well as drovers’ dykes used for safely transporting cattle (or thieving cattle, as the case was in the days of the reivers). From 1181, Morpeth-based monks of Newminster Abbey referred in their texts to the “magnam viam de Ernespeth”, which appears to be a reference to Clennell Street. It is likely that this name derives from the Old English phrase ‘earnes pæð’, meaning eagle’s path. The name ‘Clennell Street’ appears to be recent; based on that of a major local family, it shares its route with a hill, a hall, and a lost settlement near Alwinton.