VCH Explore

Explore England's Past


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.

Sunderland cottages are a distinctive local feature.

Thanks to Denny Wilson, councillor for Castletown, for passing these photos to us.

New Tunstall (now Silksworth) is the village serving Londonderry's Silksworth colliery, which opened in 1873. 

There were two significant developments of new streets on the fringes of Bishopwearmouth village in the 18th century.

Ashbrooke was Bishopwearmouth's fashionable middle-class suburb, from the mid-19th century.

Fawcett Street was the main thoroughfare of Victorian Sunderland.

Rector's Gill provided an overspill burial ground in Bishopwearmouth.

A Sunderland landmark, the much-loved Empire theatre, built on the site of Bishopwearmouth's medieval rectory.