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Whitburn Conservation Area
Designated in 1973. A rich collection of mainly 18th and 19th century buildings of great architectural character and charm with a deep village green and abundant mature trees. Leafy Church Lane has the 13th century parish church (HER 882). North Guards, the service lane to Front Street, has an urban feel. The modern retail core is on East Street. A linear development on Moor Lane stretches out to West Hall. Green spaces include the village green, Cornthwaite Park, the Recreation Ground, a cricket ground, sports pitches, allotments, open agricultural fields and large mature domestic gardens. Boundary walls are in local magnesian limestone or red brick. The open fields were enclosed in 1718 when farms with smaller fields bounded by hedgerows were created. The burgage plots are still definable within the present development pattern. Small alleys or chares run perpendicular to Front Street to the back of the plots (Chicks Lane, Staffords Lane and Sandy Chare). Whitburn Hall was built by Sir Hedworth Williamson, Olde House by Alderman Richard Spoor, Mayor of Sunderland and Red Cottage and Whitburn House by Thomas and Eleanor Barnes. The latter couple also paid for The Barnes Institute in 1905. The early Victorian population of Whitburn was about 800 in only 115 homes. By the late 1870s the population had grown due to industrialisation and the sinking of Whitburn Colliery. The population in 1891 was 3,738. Large detached villas were built by wealthy industrialists and entrepreneurs at The Bank on the north side of Front Street and on Church Lane. More modest terraces were built at North Guards and elsewhere on Front Street. An infant school was built in 1824 and another school in 1852. A Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1812, replaced by the present Methodist Church in 1881. The Co-op was built in 1895. In 1862 Whitburn Cricket Club was established on part of Whitburn Hall's grounds. Edwardian detached, semi-detached and terraced dwellings were built on North Guards, East Street and Moor Lane. There was private building and council housing between the two World Wars and up to the 1950s. Whitburn Hall was demolished in the 1970s.
North of England Civic Trust on behalf of South Tyneside Council, 2006, Whitburn Conservation Area Character Appraisal; J.R. Boyle, 1892, Comprehensive Guide to the County of Durham; W. Fordyce, 1857, History and Antuities of the County Palatine of Durham, Vol. II; E.L. Holmes, 1961, The Story of Whitburn; J. Hutchinson, 1960, The Story of the Parish Church of Whitburn, 6th Edition; W. Hutchinson, 1787, History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, Vol. II; J. Patterson, 1891, A Guide to Sunderland and Its Environs; N. Pevsner, 1983, The Buildings of England: County Durham, 2nd edition; S. Reeder, 1992, Whitburn in Old Picture Poscards; Whitburn Local History, 1990, Pictures of Whitburn