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Sunderland Fast Facts
- State: England
- District: Sunderland
- Famous for/as:
- Population: 60,718
- Language: English
- Best Season:
- Local Transport:
- STDCode: 0191
Sunderland, United Kingdom Overview
Sunderland in North East England was a county borough, and is now part of the City of Sunderland in Tyne and Wear. Sunderland grew as a port, mostly selling coal and salt. In the 1300s people began to build ships along the river bank. By 1835, the port of Sunderland was so important that its name was used when the three old villages became the a borough. Sunderland became a city in 1992.
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Must See Places in Sunderland, United Kingdom
Sunderland, United Kingdom History
In 674, Benedict Biscop built the Wearmouth (St. Peter's) monastery. He was given the land by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria. Biscop's monastery was the first monastery built of stone in Northumbria. Biscop brought glass makers from France. This was the start of glass making in Britain.
In 686, the community was taken over by Ceolfrid, and Wearmouth monastery and its other site in Jarrow became very important places of learning in Anglo-Saxon England. The library had about 300 books; all of them were hand written and painted.
The Codex Amiatinus, was written and painted at the monastery and was probably worked on by Bede who was born at Wearmouth in 673. Bede wrote the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History of the English People) in 731. This is why he is often called The father of English history. In the late eighth century, the Vikings began to raid the coast, and by the middle of the ninth century, the monastery had been abandoned.
In 930, King Athelstan of England gave the land on the south bank of the river to the Bishop of Durham. This is why the area is still called Bishopwearmouth.
By 1100, the Bishopwearmouth parish included a small fishing village at the mouth of the river (modern day East End) known as 'Soender-land' (which changed into 'Sunderland'). This settlement was granted a charter in 1179 by Hugh Pudsey, then the Bishop of Durham.
By 1346, ships were being built at Wearmouth. The merchant Thomas Menville started building ships so he could transport the things he wanted to sell.
In 1589, salt making started in Sunderland. Large vats, called ‘’panns’’, of seawater were put on coal fires. When the water boiled, the salt was left behind. This is known as salt panning. Today, the road leading to where the pans were is still called Pann's Bank. It is on the river bank near the city centre. As more coal was needed to heat the salt pans, coal mining started in the area. Only poor quality coal was used in salt panning; the best coal was sold and shipped out of the town. This is why the port began to grow. This put Sunderland in competition for the first time with its coal-trading neighbour Newcastle.
As the traditional industries have declined, electronics, chemicals, and paper making have replaced them. Some of these new industries, are in Washington, which has more space to allow purpose built factories. The Nissan car plant and the nearby North East Aircraft Museum are on the site of the old Sunderland Airport.
Since 1990, industries along the banks of the Wear have changed a lot. Housing, shopping parks and business centres have been built where the shipbuilding yards were. The National Glass Centre is also there, next to the University of Sunderland’s new “St Peter’s Campus”. On the south side of the river, the old Vaux Brewery site has been cleared so that new houses, shops and offices can be built close to the city centre.
Sunderland was the one of the most heavily bombed areas in England during World War II. As a result, much of the town centre was rebuilt in a boring concrete style. But some fine old buildings remain. These include Holy Trinity, built in 1719 for an independent Sunderland, St. Michaels's Church, built as Bishopwearmouth Parish Church and now known as Sunderland Minster and St. Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth, part of which dates from 674 AD, and was the original monastery. St. Andrew's Roker, so-called "Cathedral of the Arts and Crafts Movement", contains work by William Morris, Ernest Gimson and Eric Gill.