VCH Explore

Explore England's Past


The remains of the old north pier jut out into the harbour between the river mouth and the much newer Roker pier.

The first Wearmouth Bridge is a Sunderland icon, commonly used to illustrate local pottery.

Ropewalks were a striking feature in the 17th and 18th centuries, situated on the edge of town on both north and south sides of the river Wear, one

By 1700, the fords used by medieval and early modern travellers had more or less disappeared from the lower reaches of the Wear.

Well-preserved remains of limekilns on the north bank of the Wear, near the Stadium of Light.

The coal reserves nearest to the coast could not be reached before deep-mine technologies were developed early in the 19th century.

The coal trade was at the centre of Sunderland's economy throughout the 18th and 19th century.

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

Derek Rowell at work at Sunderland Maritime Heritage, Church Street East. For more about this extraordinary volunteer effort see here.

Sunderland cottages are a distinctive local feature.