VCH Explore

Explore England's Past


Sunderland’s religious diversity, after the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660,  is illustrated by the presence a number of nonconformist  groups.

Charting the course of Sunderland's population growth from its early beginning as a small fishing town, 'in great decay of buildings and inhabitant

Few local court records survive for Sunderland in the medieval and early modern periods.

Silksworth, situated in Bishopwearmouth parish but in the hands of the Priory of Durham, was held by a number of prominent medieval families.

The most prominent secular tenants within the Sunderland area  were the Hiltons, who held the castle and lordship of Hylton (See the Hilton Family 

There is no firm evidence of Roman settlement in Sunderland, with the main sites of occupation in the region being the Roman forts at Newcastle, So

The first written evidence of the Hilton family is in 1157 A.D., on an agreement between Romanus de Hilton and Absolom, Prior of Durham, that Roman

Very many of Sunderland's male population were freemasons in the late 18th century.

The Blacksmith's Shop at Hardwick Colliery (Holmewood).

Brass bands often became the heart of a community's social life alongside sport (primarily football and cricket).