Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for SUNDERLAND

SUNDERLAND, a town, a parish, and a district, in Durham. The town stands on the coast, at the mouth of the river Wear, and at the termini of several railways, 12 miles ESE of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; consists of Sunderland-proper, on the S side of the Wear, next the sea, -Bishop-Wearmouth, on the same side of the river,- and Monk-Wearmouth, on the opposite or N side; originated in the founding of a convent at Monk-Wearmonth in 674; took the name of Sunderland, either from being "asunder,'' or divided from Monk-Wearmouth by the river,-or from being "sundered'' or almost insulated by the river, the sea, and a deep ravine,-or from the early conferment of privileges upon it "asunder'' from those of Monk-Wearmouth; was not distinguished from Monk-Wearmouth, otherwise than as South Wear-mouth, till after the 12th century; continued to be more or less identified with Monk-Wearmouth and Bishop-Wearmouth, in the records of public events through several subsequent centuries; was parochially included in Bishop-Wearmouth till so late as 1719; made a considerable figure in the civil wars of Charles I.; began, about the middle of last century, to rise into importance as a seat of trade and commerce; was made a borough by the reform act of 1832; includes municipally S. parish, Monk-Wearmouth, and Monk-Wearmouth-Shore townships, and parts of Bishop-Wearmouth and Bishop-Wearmouth-Pans townships,-and parliamentarily also Southwick township and the rest of Bishop-Wearmouth township; is governed, under the new act, by a mayor, 14 aldermen, and 42 councillors; sends two members to parliament; gives the title of Earl to the Duke of Marlborough; is a seat of petty sessions and county courts, a polling place, a sea-bathing resort, a coastguard station, and a head port; publishes three newspapers; and has a head post-office, r. stations with telegraph, three banking offices, seven chief inns, and numerous public buildings.

The principal street is upwards of a mile long, well built, and handsome; some other streets also are good; and a considerable portion of the town can bear comparison with the best parts of Newcastle; but the older portions consist mainly of mere lanes, and are dense and dingy. Improvements, inclusive of a complete system of main sewerage, were effected in 1854-7, at a cost of more than £40,000. A public park adjoins the North-eastern r. station; and was extended in 1866, by an addition of 10 acres, at a cost of £12,000. The exchange was built in 1814, and contains a reading room. The athenæum was built in 1840, and contains a newsroom, a library, and a museum. The temperance-hall was built in 1866, and contains a lecture-room capable of accommodating 2.500 persons. The assembly-rooms, two theatres, the custom-house, the barracks, the sailors home, and the public baths are prominent. A statue of Havelock was set up in 1861. A famous iron-bridge over the Wear was constructed in 1793, and widened in 1850; cost altogether about £61,000; consists of one arch 237 feet in span, and 33 feet wide; and commands a Striking view. A market, containing upwards of 200 shops, was opened in 1830. Holy Trinity or Sunderland church was built in 1719, and repaired in 1803; and is a brick edifice, with a tower. St. John's chapel was built in 1769. St. Peter's or Monk-Wearmouth church is Saxon or early Norman, but has been so much and so often altered as to exhibit few external traces of its great age. St. Michael's or Bishop-Wearmouth church was rebuilt in 1806; and has decorated transepts, added in 1850. St. Mary's Roman Catholic chapel in Bishop-Wearmouth was built in 1835; and is in the early English style. There are, within the town or its immediate outskirts, 11 Establishment places of worship, 45 dissenting chapels, a seamen's chapel, 2 Roman Catholic churches, a Roman Catholic convent, a Jews' synagogue, 3 endowed schools, several other public schools, a school of industry, a girls' reformatory, a shipwrights' institute, an infirmary, a lying-in hospital, freemen's alms houses, ship-masters' widows' alms houses, a workhouse, and a variety of charities and miscellaneous institutions.

A weekly market is held on Saturday; and fairs, on 13 and 14 May and 13 and 14 Oct. Ship-building is very largely carried on, in about 65 yards; and there are iron-works, foundries, roperies, saw-mills, and manufactories of bottles, flint-glass, and earthen-ware. The Staple occupation is the shipment of coal. The quantity of coal shipped coastwise in 1847 was 1,580,754 tons,-in 1863, 2,476,694 tons; and the quantity shipped for colonialand foreign ports, in 1847, was 478,506 tons. The North dock was formed, as a private undertaking, by the late Sir H. Williamson; and is capable of holding 100 sail of colliers. The New docks, near the Hendon railway terminns, were completed in 1851, at a cost of £700,000; and comprise about 66 acres of water and 80 of land. Large new graving docks were opened in 1865; and additional dock-works were completed about the end of 1866. Two piers go from the sides of the Wear's mouth 1,368 feet out into the sea; and the N one is surmounted, at the extremity, by a lighthouse 76 feet high; while the S one is 1,890 feet long, and serves as a pleas-and promenade. The vessels belonging to the port, at the beginning of 1864, were 112 small sailing-vessels, of aggregately 3,375 tons; 808 large sailing-vessels, of aggregately 213,554 tons; 58 small steam-vessels, of aggregately 805 tons; and 31 large steam-vessels, of aggregately 14,343 tons. The vessels which entered, in 1863, were 71 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 22,116 tons, from British colonies; 14 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 6,105 tons, from British colonies; 1,129 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 217,317 tons, from foreign countries; 1,077 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 164,682 tons, from foreign countries; 67 British steam-vessels, of aggregately 26,381 tons, from foreign countries; 50 foreign steam-vessels, of aggregately 19,095 tons, from foreign countries; 1,230 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 96,316 tons, coastwise; and 70 steam-vessels, of aggregately 26,195 tons, coastwise. The vessels which cleared, in 1863, were 227 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 82,971 tons, to British colonies; 28 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 18,399 tons, to British colonies; 1,711 British sailing-vessels, of aggregately 374,444 tons, to foreign countries; 1,389 foreign sailing-vessels, of aggregately 220,779 tons, to foreign countries; 1 British steam-vessel, of 716 tons, to British colonies; 91 British steam-vessels, of aggregately 38,323 tons, to foreign countries; 52 foreign steam-vessels, of aggregately 20,282 tons, to foreign countries; 10,094 sailing-vessels, of aggregately 1,210,865 tons, coastwise; and 937 steam-vessels, of aggregately 385,261 tons, coastwise. The amount of customs in 1862, was £88,666. Steamers sail weekly to London. The amount of corporation revenue is about £4,570. The police force, in 1864, comprised 80 men, at an annual cost of £6,331. The crimes committed, in 1864, were 76; the persons apprehended, 73; the known depredators and Suspected persons at large, 511; the houses of bad character, 94. Electors in 1833, 1,378; in 1863, 2,837. Pop. of the m. borough in 1851, 63,897; in 1861, 78,211. Houses, 10,030. Pop. of the p. borough in 1851, 67,394; in 1861, 85,797. Houses, 11,188.

The parish comprises 120 acres of land and 58 of water. Real property, £67,290. Pop. in 1851, 19,058; in 1861, 17,107. Houses, 1,692. The living is a rectory, united with the p. curacy of St. John, in the diocese of Durham. Value, £900.* Patron, the Bishop of D.—The district comprehends all Sunderland and Monk-Wearmouth parishes, and all Bishop-Wearmouth parish except Burdon and Silksworth townships; and is cut into the sub-districts of East S., West S., Monk Wearmouth, North Bishop-Wearmouth, and South B.-W. Acres, 11,944. Poor rates in 1863, £25,642. Pop. in 1851, 70,576; in 1861, 90,704. Houses, 11,988. Marriages in 1863, 1,008; births, 3,932,-of which 191 were illegitimate; deaths, 2,816,-of which 1,481 were at ages under 5 years, and 37 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 8,730; births, 33,413; deaths, 20,072. The places of worship, in 1851, were 10 of the Church of England, with 8,903 sittings; 1 of English Presbyterians, with 721 s.; 4 of United Presbyterians, with 2,110 s.; 5 of Independents, with 3,518 s.; 6 of Baptists, with 1,750 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 700 s.; 1 of Unitarians, with 300 s.; 16 of Wesleyans, with 5,758 s.; 1 of New Connexion Methodists, with 560 s.; 6 of Primitive Methodists, with 2,600 s.; 5 of the Wesleyan Association, with 2,113 s.; 4 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 1,290 s.; 3 undefined, with 830 s.; 1 of Roman Catholics, with 80 s.; and 2 of Jews, with 116 s. The schools were 24 public day-schools, with 4,204 scholars; 120 private day-schools, with 4,312 s.; 62 Sunday schools, with 7,469 s.; and 7 evening schools for adults, with 178 s.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Sunderland CP/PA/AP       Sunderland PLU/RegD       County Durham AncC
Place: Sunderland

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