Museums & Galleries

Originally a colliery railway built to carry coal mainly from pits in north west Durham to the Tyne at Jarrow. The earliest section, designed by George Stephenson was opened in January 1826, making it one of the world's first modern railways. Bowes Railway is believed to be the only operational...
National Glass Centre
You’ll never look at, or through, glass in the same way again. Discover how glass arrived in Britain, how it’s made and how it’s become something we all take for granted at the National Glass Centre. Learn how Benedict Biscop first brought glass making to Sunderland, and Britain, in the 7th Century...
North East Land Sea and Air Museum
The volunteers at the North East Land Sea and Air Museum have created several collections in one museum. The North East Aircraft Museum has a diverse collection of aircraft; from passnger aircraft to training planes and a mighty Vulcan. The Military Vehicle Museum has a collection of smaller...
The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art reopened in March 2018, within the National Glass Centre. A generous 3000 square foot new home for visual contemporary arts has been created, with an initial focus on artists whose work is being created across Europe. The gallery's opening programme also...
Ryhope Engines Museum
The Ryhope Engines Museum is based on the Ryhope Pumping Station which was built in 1868 to supply water to the Sunderland area. The station ceased operation in 1967 - after 100 years of continuous use. The Museum is now regarded as one of the finest industrial monuments in the North East of...
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...
In December 1775 Robert Shafto, Sir Gilfrid Lawson and Dr. James Musgrave, the Lords of the Manor of Washington, leased the coal under the northern part of the parish to William Russel and Partners.  Russel was a coal fitter (shipping agent) from Sunderland and also owned the famous Wallsend...

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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