Unlike the other two towns on the A6 in Cumbria, Penrith and Carlisle, Kendal in Roman times was not on the main North-South main west coast route . This left Carlisle through Penrith then through the Lune Gorge and south along the edge of the Pennines going about 10 miles east of present day Kendal. However a map (left) in Roman Lancashire, a book from the early 1800's also shows a road going north out of Lancaster through Carnforth to a place called Natland about 2 miles south of Kendal. Other maps have shown a road going from Kendal or near to the lune gorge near modern day Tebay roughly equivalent to the A685, however it would have joined the main north-south road at a camp in the lune gorge called Low Burrowbridge.
Although there appear to be nothing in Kendal during Roman times at Natland the was a fort, the Watercrook fort is situated on the east bank of the River Kent. It was thought that this fort wasl built just before the turn of the second century AD to police the Cambrian hill country. Kendal itself developed later. The fort would be the reason for the road to Natland.