History & Heritage

Penshaw Monument

In Sunderland, we're proud of where we came from and we celebrate our past.

Since the 7th century, when St Peter's Church at Monkweamouth was the home of the Venerable Bede, and played a key role in the development of early Christianity, Sunderland has been world famous for many things - shipbuilding, glass making, coal mining to name a few.

Our hard-working people, from the monks of the Anglo-Saxon monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow, to the miners and shipbuilders who kept the wheels of industrial Britain moving, are proud of our roots and keen to share our rich heritage.

Did you know there are approximately 77 commemorative blue plaques spread out across the city, which mark buildings, places of interest or influential people with connections to the city.  For further information on blue plaques click here

Local History Month takes place throughout the month of May. For more information on Sunderland's programme of events, talks, walks and exhibitions and to download a copy of the programme Click here

Inside St Andrew's Church
The inside of this church has many treasures including William Morris carpets, Ernest Grimson furniture and the painted ceiling in the sanctuary depicting the creation of the sun and stars which is painted in ‘egg-tempera’ Sometimes known as 'the cathedral of the arts and crafts movement', St...
Meet the dragons, discover why there were riots in the graveyard, and discover who Black Douglas was. St Michael and All Angels Church is of Saxon foundation, the Saxon doorway and walls were discovered during excavations in 2008. The Saxon doorway can be viewed through a glass panel in the floor....
St Peter's Church, Monkwearmouth
The Anglo-Saxon church of St Peter's was built in 674AD by local nobleman Benedict Biscop. It is one of the UK's earliest stone churches and parts of the original church are still standing, including the West Wall, porch and stone carvings. St Peter's was also once home to Venerable Bede, one of...
Sunderland Maritime Heritage
Sunderland’s 600 year old ship building and repairing heritage is celebrated and maintained by the enthusiastic volunteers of Sunderland Maritime Heritage. Tucked away in an unassuming building in Sunderland’s historic East End, Sunderland Maritime Heritage’s workshop and visitor centre is open to...
Sunderland Minster
Sunderland Minster provides a ‘ministry’ for a wide range of ecumenical, educational, cultural and leisure activities. While it functions as a place of worship it has also held many very popular events including concerts by the Futureheads, the Unthanks and the Lilliputs. Weekend long festivals of...
Washington Old Hall
Washington Old Hall is the ancestral home of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America. Today Washington Old Hall is under the ownership of the National Trust. The Trust, with assistance from the Friends of Washington Old Hall, has furnished the property much as it...

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Did you know?

Blockbuster West End shows are staged at the Sunderland Empire, the biggest theatre between Edinbugh and Manchester.

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