Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Family having fun at Sunderland Museum

Discover Sunderland’s fascinating history in one place. With a collection dating back to 1846 there are plenty of surprises at Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. Perhaps the most famous object of all is Wallace the Lion.

Wallace was part of a touring wild animal show which visited Sunderland during the 1800s with the then famous African tamer Martini Maccomo. When he died, some years later Wallace the lion, came into the Museum’s collection and remains  one of the most popular exhibits. Over 135 years later, he’s still here…posing for selfies!

You’ll also find hundreds of other amazing objects like the first Nissan car to roll off the production line at their Sunderland factory in 1986. Galleries cover the shipbuilding, glass and pottery making industries the Anglo-Saxon period and many other aspects of the city’s past.

The Art Gallery shows a significant collection of the works of LS Lowry an artist who spent lots of time in Sunderland. The temporary exhibition and events programme mean that there is always something new and exciting to see and do for all the family.

The Winter Gardens, a 21st Century addition to the museum is a tropical paradise. Over 2,000 plants thrive in the glass rotunda and from the tree top walkway visitors have a bird’s eye view of beautiful Mowbray Park.

Please note that the Pottery Gallery is occasionally closed to the general public due to special events taking place. Please contact the museum before your visit to check opening information.

Entry to the museum is free but donations are welcome.

For full information on accessing the museum and what you can see here, click here

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Did you know?

Perhaps Sunderland's most prominent landmark is Penshaw Monument. It was built in 1844 in honour of the first Earl of Durham, John George Lambton. Penshaw was modelled on Theseion, the Temple of Thesus in Athens.


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