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Location within Tyne and Wear
Population10,484 (2011.Ward)
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Historic county
  • County Durham
Postcode district SR2
Dialling code 0191
Police Northumbria
Fire Tyne and Wear
Ambulance North East
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Tyne and Wear
54°52′04″N1°22′11″W / 54.8679°N 1.3698°W / 54.8679; -1.3698 Coordinates: 54°52′04″N1°22′11″W / 54.8679°N 1.3698°W / 54.8679; -1.3698

Ryhope ( /ˈr.əp/ RY-əp) is a coastal village along the southern boundary of the City of Sunderland, in Tyne and Wear, North East England. With a population of approximately 14,000, measured at 10.484 in the 2011 census, [1] Ryhope is 2.9 miles to the centre of Sunderland, 2.8 miles to the centre of Seaham, and 1.2 miles from the main A19.


The older village section is centred on a triangular 'green', which contains a war monument. The newer 'Colliery' area of Ryhope flanks the Ryhope Street/Tunstall Bank road, which lead toward the Tunstall and Silksworth areas of Sunderland.

Geography and administration

Ryhope Village Green Ryhope.JPG
Ryhope Village Green

The A1018 'Southern Radial Route', which opened in 2008, bypasses Ryhope along the clifftops and takes traffic toward the Port of Sunderland in Hendon and other routes to the centre and north of Sunderland.

The B1287 Sea View Road links Ryhope with the town of Seaham to the south.

Ryhope is surrounded by farmland meaning it is a relatively isolated suburb of Sunderland. A number of cycle routes run through the village, including the National Cycle Network Route number 1 which is looked after by a local team of Sustrans Rangers.

Located to the south-west of the village is Cherry Knowle Hospital which is part of the South of Tyne and Wearside Mental Health NHS Trust. It has long been the main mental health services complex for the Wearside area. The Ryhope Engines Museum is also located in this area.

Ryhope was part of the Houghton and Washington East (UK Parliament constituency) until its abolition at the 2010 general election. Since then, it has formed part of the Sunderland Central constituency.


Ryhope (from the Old English reof hoppas, meaning "rough valley" [2] ) is first mentioned in 930 AD when king Athelstan granted the land of Bishopwearmouth (including the township of Ryhope) to the Bishop of Chester-le-Street. The land had been reclaimed from the Vikings who had captured it in 918 AD.

Ryhope has a strong history of farming; in 1183 there were 22 recorded villeins who provided the landowner with cattle and crops. In 1380 the population had swelled to approximately 150. In 1860 common grazing land was split into plots, which radiated out in strips from the village green. Ryhope's proximity to the sea has allowed it to serve as a seaside destination for centuries. The beach is said[ by whom? ] to have been a favourite sea-bathing spot for the Bishop of Durham.

Located on the Durham coalfield, Ryhope followed the path of many other villages in the area, and abandoned agriculture as the main employer in favour of coal. In 1859 a colliery was opened, causing huge changes in the geography of the village. The settlement of Ryhope extended west toward the area of Tunstall, creating two distinct areas of Ryhope; the 'Village' and the 'Colliery' (the post-World War II, council-built estate of 'Hollycarrside' forms a third section.) Railway lines were introduced to the area, linking Ryhope to Sunderland, Seaham and other Durham Coalfield mining villages. Now only a single railway line runs through the village, and there is no longer a station. The colliery was closed in 1966. [3]

World War II

In March 1944 Ryhope was the scene of the conclusion of the epic last flight of the Handley Page Halifax bomber LK797 from RAF Bomber Command's raid on Nuremberg, which crash-landed in Ryhope, resulting in Pilot Officer Cyril Barton being posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

Notable people


Ryhope Engines Museum, which is based on the Ryhope Pumping Station, was built in 1868 to supply water to the Sunderland area.

Among natural features, Ryhope adjoins Tunstall Hills which have views of the city of Sunderland and beyond (on a clear day, down the coast almost to Whitby). The Tunstall Hills are located on the southern outskirts of Sunderland between (New) Silksworth and Ryhope. The disused quarries and cuttings at Tunstall Hills provide exposure through part of the Magnesian Limestone succession of Permian age. The slopes on the "Maiden Paps" section support species such as blue moor-grass, common rock-rose, perennial flax and locally uncommon plants such as Frog Orchid, Autumn Gentian and Purple Milk-Vetch. These areas have been designated a "site of special scientific interest" (SSSI).

Ryhope is also home to the world's first (and so far only) listed Pigeon Cree. [5]

Related Research Articles

Sunderland Human settlement in England

Sunderland is a port city and the main settlement of the metropolitan borough of the City of Sunderland in Tyne and Wear, North East England. It is situated at the mouth of the River Wear, approximately 16 km south-east of Newcastle upon Tyne and roughly 19 km north-east of the City of Durham.

Seaham Human settlement in England

Seaham is a seaside town in County Durham, England. Located on the Durham Coast, Seaham is situated 6 miles south of Sunderland and 13 miles (21 km) east of Durham. The town grew from the late 19th century onwards as a result of investments in its harbour and coal mines. The town is twinned with the German town of Gerlingen.

A19 road Road in Northern England

The A19 is a major road in England running approximately parallel to and east of the A1 road. Although the two roads meet at the northern end of the A19, the two roads originally met at the southern end of the A19 in Doncaster, but the old route of the A1 was changed to the A638. From Sunderland northwards, the route was formerly the A108. In the past the route was known as the East of Snaith-York-Thirsk-Stockton-on-Tees-Sunderland Trunk Road. Most traffic joins the A19, heading for Teesside, from the A168 at Dishforth Interchange.

Wearside Place in England

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Durham Coast Line

The Durham Coast Line is an approximately 39.5 miles (63.6 km) railway line running between Newcastle and Middlesbrough in North East England. Heavy rail passenger services, predominantly operated Northern Trains, and some freight services operate over the whole length of the line; it provides an important diversionary route at times when the East Coast Main Line is closed. Light rail services of the Tyne and Wear Metro's Green Line also operate over the same tracks between a junction just south of Sunderland station and Pelaw Junction.

Silksworth is a suburb of the City of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. The area can be distinguished into two parts, old Silksworth, the original village and township which has existed since the early middle ages, and New Silksworth, the industrial age colliery village which expanded north west of the original settlement. The former colliery being situated to the north west of the village near to the Gilley Law. The population of the ward was 10,931 at the 2011 census.

Wearside Football League Association football league in England

The Wearside Football League is a non-league football competition based in England. It consists of a single division which sits at step 7 of the National League System and is a feeder to the Northern League Division Two. The league has had a second division in the past but currently only operates with one. For the 2018-19 season, 16 clubs are due to compete in the league. In December 2017 it was decided that the Wearside League and Durham Alliance Combination League would merge. The Durham Alliance Combination League would then become a feeder league for the Wearside League and would be known as the Durham and Wearside Development Division. It was thought that by doing this it would allow a natural route for promotion into the FA National League system.

Seaham railway station Railway station in County Durham on the Durham Coast Line

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Sunderland Ryhope Community Association F.C. Association football club in England

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A1231 road Road in Tyne and Wear, England

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A1018 road Road in north east England

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Tunstall, Sunderland Human settlement in England

Tunstall is a suburb of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England which is mostly a privately purchased estate. It is located to the west of Ryhope, and east of Silksworth. The area was built around a large hill, known as Tunstall Hill. Since 1966 pilgrims have erected crucifixes on the hill every Good Friday.

Ryhope East was one of two railway stations to have served the village of Ryhope, Tyne and Wear, North East England. Opened in 1858 as a stop on the short Londonderry, Seaham and Sunderland Railway, it became a minor stop on the Durham Coast Line following that line's incorporation into it in 1905.

Seaham Hall Dene railway station Disused railway station in Seaham, County Durham

Seaham Hall Dene railway station was a private railway station that served Seaham Hall, the then a home of the Marquess of Londonderry close to the town of Seaham, County Durham, England from 1875 to 1925 on the Durham Coast Line.

Blackhall Colliery railway station

Blackhall Colliery railway station served the village of Blackhall Colliery in County Durham, North East England. It was located on the Durham Coast Line, north of Blackhall Rocks and south of Horden.

Shotton Bridge railway station

Shotton Bridge railway station was a railway station built by the North Eastern Railway (NER) on the route of the Hartlepool Dock & Railway (HD&R) as part of a programme of works to modernise that line and link it with the Durham & Sunderland Railway (D&SR) so as to create a railway through-route between West Hartlepool and Sunderland. On opening, the station served the relatively new village of Shotton Colliery, which grew around the nearby Shotton Grange Colliery, as well as Old Shotton on the Stockton to Sunderland turnpike road, further to the east.

Ryhope railway station Disused railway station in Ryhope, Tyne and Wear

Ryhope was one of was one of two railway stations to have served the village of Ryhope, Tyne & Wear, North East England. For much of its existence, it was served by the Durham–Sunderland and Hartlepool–Haswell–Sunderland lines.

Hart railway station Disused railway station in Hart, County Durham

Hart was built as rural railway station in 1839 to serve the village of Hart, approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the south west, and the settlement of Crimdon, approximately 0.5 miles (0.80 km) to the north, in County Durham, North East England. By the time of the station's final closure in 1963, it had also come to serve the small settlement of Hart Station that had grown around it and which would later become a suburb of Hartlepool.


  1. "Sunderland ward population 2011" . Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  2. "Recognition of ancient names". Archived from the original on 25 September 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2006.
  3. "Ryhope Colliery | sitelines.newcastle.gov.uk". Twsitelines.info. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  4. Rhodes, David (3 June 2015). "Sunderland roots of SNP's Nicola Sturgeon". BBC News. Archived from the original on 11 August 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  5. "The region's weirdest tourist attraction?". Sunderland Echo. 23 August 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2019.