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History & Heritage

Sunderland is a city of the future, but we are proud to celebrate our hard-working history. 

Sunderland's history and heritage has shaped our entire city and our region, so we love to showcase what makes it unique and famous. Explore sights and landmarks that provide a glimpse into our industrial past; from shipbuilding and mining to castles, monuments and more. 

Why not learn about Sunderland's connection to North East icon George Stephenson, and our role in innovating the modern railway at Hetton Colliery Railway? Here you can also discover more about Sunderland's mining heritage. Or, uncover Sunderland's natural beauty at Roker Beach - home to Roker Pier and Lighthouse, which has been hailed as a 'triumph of engineering'.

Step further back in time at Hylton Castle. Built by Sir William Hylton before 1400, it's the second oldest building in Sunderland! A trip to Sunderland is also not complete without a visit to the stunning Penshaw Monument; built in 1844 as a replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens, it's the perfect Instagram opportunity. 

Whether you're looking for a great family day out, planning a school trip or simply want to learn more about our region's rich past, there are many historic sightseeing opportunities in Sunderland. Be sure to pair your visit with a trip to our museums and galleries

Uncover the roots that make us proud.


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.

Sunderland Minster

Sunderland Minster provides a 'ministry' for a wide range of ecumenical, educational, cultural and leisure activities.

Washington Old Hall

Washington Old Hall is the ancestral home of George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.

Gan Canny

A sculpture honouring the history of Vaux Brewery has been permanently installed in Keel Square, overlooking the regenerating Riverside Sunderland.

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