Elsdon : Romano-British Period
From the later 1st century AD, Redesdale along with the rest of the Northumbrian uplands fell under the control of expanding Roman empire. The principal bases of Roman power in this region were represented by the forts of High Rochester (Bremenium) and Risingham (Habitancum) to the north west and south of Elsdon respectively.
The forts were situated beside Dere Street, the main road into Scotland, which passed to the west of Elsdon. A shorter lived fort was situated at Blakehope between the two. Another road was constructed to link High Rochester with Low Learchild (Alauna) on the Devil's Causeway, the route which led north from Corbridge towards Berwick (cf. MacLauchlan 1864a; 1864b).
The link road crossed the high moors north of Elsdon and may have been travelled by devotees visiting the small shrine, perhaps dedicated to Cocidius, south east of Yardhope (Charlton & Mitcheson 1983). The most tangible evidence of the Roman occupation to be seen in Elsdon today is the altar in the church, but there is no evidence there was ever an official Roman military presence at Elsdon.