The Great North Road
Chester-le-Street—the Street is the Great North Road and was part of the original Roman road which ran from London to Scotland. The word Chester denotes the position of a Roman fort and one of the previous names of the town was “Castra in Via”, the camp on the road. An important factor was the crossing of the Cone River thus a settlement came about.
The Roman road “Ermine Street” was one of the main communication routes to the Roman Wall along which supplies were carried. Over time this name was corrupted to “Hermon Street” and manifests itself in Hermon House ( Social Services Offices) and the registered company address of the present Co-op is Hermon Street. The original Roman road eventually deteriorated but efforts were made to enforce maintenance by the parishes. In the 17th century the first turnpike roads developed and tolls were enacted but it was the 18th century before the road once again gained greatness with constant use by carriages and mail coaches and the introduction of tarmacadam to its surface.