The southern section of Ermine Street aligns closely with the Old North Road, merging with Great North Road near Godmanchester, before heading eastwards to Lincoln north of Stamford.
Ermine Street was a Roman road built between the years 45 and 75 AD. It started in London and was extended north to York as the conquest of Britain progressed. Much of the route is still followed by roads today – and where not, it is often visible in the form of tracks, crop marks or boundaries.
The name is of Saxon origin – Earningstraet. The Earningas tribe lived in an area between Royson and Huntingdon.
Leaving London (Londinium) through Bishopsgate, it proceeds via:
- Wimpole Lodge
- Godmanchester (Durovigvtum)
- Water Newton (Durobrivae)
- Great Casterton
- Lincoln (Lindum)
At Winteringham there was a ferry crossing of the river Humber (Abus Fluvius) leading to the seaport of Brough (Petvaria) and then on to York (Eburacum).
Beyond York the Roman precursor to our Great North Road was Dere Street built around 77AD – 80AD, after the Brigantes had been brought under Roman control: it ran from York to the Firth of Forth in Scotland.
An alternative route from Lincoln to York avoiding the Humber crossing was also followed through:
- Littleborough (Agelocum)
- Doncaster (Danum )
- Castleford (Lagecium)