The growth of the modern coal mining in the 19th century brought with it it dramatic changes in both settlement and society on and near the Hardwic
The town plan of Sunderland was determined by the layout of its medieval burgages.
The medieval parish of Bishopwearmouth comprised the townships of Bishopwearmouth, Ford, Bishopwearmouth Panns, Ryhope, Silksworth, Tunstall and Bu
The ancient parish of Monkwearmouth comprised the townships of Monkwearmouth, Fulwell, Southwick and Hylton.
The borough was created by charter of Hugh du Puiset, bishop of Durham in c.1180-1183, probably in the hope that it would generate the same degree
The government of Sunderland was determined by its status as a medieval borough.
Few local court records survive for Sunderland in the medieval and early modern periods.
Until 1719, the area that was to become Sunderland was divided into two parishes which served administrative as well as religious purposes.
By the early 1700s the wealthy urban élite of Sunderland were complaining that most pews in Bishopwearmouth were owned by local landowners.