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.

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

A view of the coastline and town from the sea would have been the first sight of Sunderland for most visitors before 1800.

Dixon (or Dixon's, or Dickson's) Square is a reminder of an older Monkwearmouth.

The coastal area south of the port of Sunderland, Hendon and its coastline have been much altered over past centuries.

Our Newcastle-based volunteers are scouring regional newspapers for references to life in Sunderland.


Bishopwearmouth Panns was a tiny township of six acres, most of it reclaimed from the river before 1600.

Roker and Seaburn are seaside resorts of long-standing, their development boosted first by tram services, and later by railways.

The industrial settlement of Monkwearmouth Shore, hemmed in by ballast heaps, was largely demolished late in the 19th century. 

A significant village on the outer fringes of Bishopwearmouth parish, the coastal settlement of Ryhope found a new lease of life when a pit village