Farringdon, Sunderland

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Farringdon in 2020 looking towards the sea
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54°52′24″N1°25′26″W / 54.8732°N 1.4238°W / 54.8732; -1.4238 Coordinates: 54°52′24″N1°25′26″W / 54.8732°N 1.4238°W / 54.8732; -1.4238

Farringdon is a suburb of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. Originally a Monastic grange and manor estate for hundreds of years, Farringdon was rebuilt as a post-war council housing estate in the 1950s. It is approximately 3 mi (4.8 km) south of the city centre along the A690, close to Thorney Close, Silksworth, East Herrington, Gilley Law and Doxford Park. Electorally, the area comes under the St. Chad's ward of the City.




Recorded human activity on Farringdon has been dated to the Neolithic era, due to a stone axe uncovered during construction work in the 1950s. [1]

The Middle Ages

The parish of Bishopwearmouth in the Middle Ages was divided into a number of copyholdings held by custom of the Bishop of Durham, of which was delegated to various tenants. [2] Farringdon emerged as a part of this system and operated as a block Demesne, whilst being also a hamlet and estate under the township of Silksworth. [3]

In the 14th century the area was associated with the Blakiston family. [4]

The name derives from: "Farm or hill of Faer or his sons"; [5] it had a variety of spellings throughout this period including Farnton Hall, Farrington Hall, Ffaernton and Ferenton Hall. By the 15th century, it served as a Monastic Grange of the priory of Hexham. [6] [7] [8]

In the 1420s, the land was represented by Robert Jackson who served as bailiff of Sunderland and collected taxes on behalf of the Bishop of Durham. [9] [10] [11] By 1479 the Black Book of Hexham detailed the area as possessing cottage lands, a windmill, an oven and brewery [12] [13] A new manor was built on the land in 1597; it disappeared by the mid 20th century. [14]

Renaissance and early modern period

Farringdon in 1577, named as "Farnton Hall" on a map by Christopher Saxon which originally belonged to Elizabeth I's secretary of state Farnton Hall, 1577.jpg
Farringdon in 1577, named as "Farnton Hall" on a map by Christopher Saxon which originally belonged to Elizabeth I's secretary of state

The estate passed through various landowners throughout the ages, including Sir John Forster, George Blakiston and the Pepper family of North Yorkshire. [15] [16]

The former route of the Hetton Colliery Railway Through Farringdon HettonCollieryLine.jpg
The former route of the Hetton Colliery Railway Through Farringdon

During the English Civil War the Scottish Army crossed the River Wear at South Hylton and set up their headquarters at Farringdon Hall. [17]

In the mid 19th century, the Hetton Colliery Railway, one of the first operational railways in history and the first of its kind to transport coal, passed through Farringdon and Gilley Law en route to the River Wear. A rail trail has been established along the former route.[ citation needed ]

The modern housing estate

The manor and farm existed on the land until the 20th century. In 1950, Sunderland authorities purchased 208.69 acres (84.45 ha) [18] and set out plans for the creation of a new estate consisting of over 1,400 houses, [19] creating today's Farringdon=. The last private owners of the estate were Robert Moorhead and George Lee, who were publicly critical of the pace at which the land was acquired and developed. [20] Herrington Parish Council also resisted the estate, lodging protests with Durham County Planners. [21]

By the end of the century, many of the homes on the estate had been privately purchased through the Right to Buy scheme.[ citation needed ]

Facilities and schools in Farringdon

The A690 road runs between Farringdon and Thorney Close FarringdonA690.jpg
The A690 road runs between Farringdon and Thorney Close

Farringdon contains a large secondary school (Farringdon Community Academy), and a primary school (Farringdon Primary School). The area was originally host to a police station which closed in 2015; the site remains empty. A fire station remains. There are also three shopping arcades and a single pub known as The Dolphin, which has been voted Sunderland's "pub of the year" for five years running. [22] The former Farringdon Social Club closed in 2017 and is now being redeveloped into a business park. [23]

Also in Farringdon is the Jubilee Centre, a community centre now known as Farringdon Youth and Community Centre (part of the Youth Almighty Group YAP) offering activities and learning opportunities for people in the area, currently there are 2 youth groups on Tuesday and Friday nights, and a number of Adult groups. A food bank is available Monday and Fridays with added benefit of a benefits adviser. A McDonald's, and two residential homes for the elderly.[ citation needed ]

In 1998, Sunderland City Council proposed the creation of Farringdon Country Park, a designated recreational and conservation space neighbouring the suburb. [24]


Farringdon is a component of the St. Chad's Ward in the city alongside parts of Herrington. Presently, the area is represented by two councillors from the Conservative Party (UK) and one from the Labour Party (UK). Labour MP Bridget Phillipson has represented Farringdon, part of the Houghton and Sunderland South constituency since it was created in 2010.[ citation needed ]

Street naming convention

All street names in Farringdon begin with the letter A. The main street running through the centre of the estate is Allendale Road. Other streets include Archer Road, Avonmouth Road, Aldwych Road, Aldwych Square, Abercorn Road, Arbroath Road, Antwerp Road, Arkle Road, Aboyne Square, Archer Square, Andrew Road.[ citation needed ]

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  11. A History of the County of Durham Vol. 3. British History Online. 1928. Retrieved 4 June 2021. Robert Jakson of Sunderland and other friends became bail for his keeping the peace.
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  14. Echo, Sunderland (6 January 1950). "More Farm Land May Go". Sunderland Echo . Retrieved 14 December 2020 via British Newspaper Archive.
  15. Clarkson, Christopher (1821). "The History of Richmond, in the County of York".
  16. "The Lost History of Farringdon: Medieval Manor to Housing Estate". Sunderland Global Media. 25 January 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
  17. Meikle, Maureen (2017). "The Scottish Covenanters and the Borough of Sunderland, 1639–1647" (PDF).
  18. ""Homes" Land: Council To Make Next Move". Sunderland Echo . 1950 via British Newspaper Archive.
  19. "Farringdon Hall Scheme". Sunderland Echo . 1950 via British Newspaper Archive.
  20. "Cattle, Farm Tools For Sale As Bulldozers Move In". Sunderland Echo . 1950 via British Newspaper Archive.
  21. "Reply to Land Protest". Sunderland Echo . 1950 via British Newspaper Archive.
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  23. Binding, Chris (3 December 2019). "Former Sunderland social club set to become business park with cafes, takeaways and shops after housing plans fall through". Sunderland Echo . Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  24. "City of Sunderland Unitary Development Plan" (PDF). City of Sunderland.