Clennell Street has always been part of a larger network of routes and tracks. On William Roy’s map of the 1740s it is identified as the ‘Road from Morpeth to Kelso’.
Its origins are ancient, with Iron Age and Bronze Age activity along the route. From 1181 the monks from Newminster Abbey developed substantial landholdings in the area, and their records refer to the ‘magnam viam de Ernespeth’, which appears to be a reference to Clennell Street. It’s likely that this name derives from the Old English phrase ‘earnes pæð’, meaning eagle’s path – an interesting observation about the area’s wildlife in the Middle Ages.
The name ‘Clennell Street’ appears to be recent; based on that of a major local family it’s shared with a hill, a hall and a lost settlement near Alwinton. From Alwinton the route heads north and west past Wholehope and Uswayford and up to the border, before dropping down to the farm at Cocklawfoot. It then follows the line of a small road along Bowmont Water towards Town Yetholm.