To provide you with the best experience, cookies are used on this site. Find out more here.

Allow cookies

For the latest information and advice about Coronavirus – please Click Here

The Teesdale Way - Piercebridge Circular

Type:Walking Route

Piercebridge, Tees Valley, DL2 3SW
The Teesdale Way - Piercebridge Circular

Book Tickets Online


The Piercebridge Circular is a short 1 km walk exploring the roman history of this important River Tees Crossing point. Most paths are grass; tarmac surface on road crossing Piercebridge Beck at Carlbury Bridge.

Start at the George Hotel overflow car park NZ 212 154 and walk over the road bridge.

Piercebridge Roman Fort is one of a number of forts built along Dere Street, which was one of the most important roads in Roman Britain.

The Romans probably first came to Piercebridge in 70 AD when Cerialis attacked the British camp at Stanwick, three miles south of Piercebridge. Between 79 and 85 AD during Agricola's northern campaigns it is likely that Piercebridge was a major strategic river crossing on the main eastern supply route and a military presence to guard a bridge would be expected, yet no trace of a fort of this period has been located.

Towards the end of the 2nd century the first bridge, possibly destroyed by a flood, was replaced by another further downstream to the east and the line of Dere Street diverted. A civil settlement was found near the second bridge in 1971 and excavated. The south bridge abutment excavated the following year is now preserved and open to view. Since Roman times the River Tees has altered its course and the bridge is now high and dry.

By 125 AD a vicus or civil settlement was being built in the Toft's Field beside the early line of Dere Street. The residents were traders who relied on a permanent garrison for their living.

The fort seen today is thought to have been built around 270 AD or soon after. By 300 AD it seems to have been largely abandoned and kept on a care and maintenance basis for some 50 years, re-occupied in strength and much altered.

The finds from the excavations are on permanent loan from Darlington Borough Council to the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle.

A short walk over a stile and down the green lane from the end of the car park and along the riverside takes you to the remains of the Roman bridge across the Tees, dating from the beginning of the 3rd century and probably the second roman bridge on the site.

The original medieval bridge (now the road bridge carrying the B6275) was the focus of a battle between Royalist troops moving down from the north with supplies and Parliamentarian troops tasked with defending this vitally strategic crossing of the Tees. The battle took place on 1st December 1642 and the smaller Parliamentarian force was defeated.


What's Nearby

  1. Tees Cottage Pumping Station

    Tees Cottage has Lancashire Boilers from 1902, a 1904 steam powered Beam Engine and a…

    2.48 miles away
  2. Walworth Castle Birds of Prey

    Set in the stunning grounds of Walworth Castle, just 10 mins from the A1 and A68 the…

    2.54 miles away
  3. Head of Steam

    Head of Steam Museum is located on the 1825 route of the Stockton & Darlington Railway,…

    4.38 miles away
  1. South Park

    South Park is a grade II registered historic park. It has held a Green Flag Award since…

    4.42 miles away
  2. Raby Castle

    Uncover history at Raby Castle. Built by the mighty Nevills in the 14th Century, and home…

    7.18 miles away
  3. Cluedini

    Ideal for smaller groups, Cluedini Yarm can be found on the High Street in Yarm. Cluedini…

    12.55 miles away
  4. Wynyard Woodland Park

    Originally a working railway the park extends over three miles from the edge of Thorpe…

    12.78 miles away
  5. Hardwick Dene

    Hardwick Dene is a secret valley, a piece of quiet countryside that has been saved from…

    12.9 miles away
  6. Butterfly World

    An indoor tropical garden populated by exotic free-flying butterflies and complemented by…

    13.11 miles away
  7. Preston Park Museum & Grounds

    Discover the Hall and its treasures. Experience what life was like in 1895 as you take a…

    13.12 miles away
  8. Tees Heritage Park

    The Tees Heritage Park covers the beautiful stretch of countryside along the banks of the…

    13.12 miles away
  9. Newham Grange Park

    Set in a rolling landscape, Newham Grange Park offers something for everyone, with…

    13.45 miles away
  10. Ropner Park

    Fully restored to its Victorian splendour, Ropner Park is a real delight at any time of…

    13.49 miles away
  11. The Gardens at Wynyard Hall

    The Gardens at Wynyard Hall are fast becoming one the North’s leading visitor attractions…

    14.16 miles away
  12. Wynyard Planetarium & Observatory

    Wynyard Planetarium and Observatory is an educational and entertainment resource for…

    14.29 miles away
  13. The Teesside Princess

    One of the most relaxing ways to take in the scenic views along the River Tees. For a…

    14.6 miles away
Previous Next