Tyne and Wear HER(12436): Sunderland, Central Conservation Area (Sunniside) - Details
Sunderland, Central Conservation Area (Sunniside)
Sunniside as a distinguishable urban neighbourhood dates from the 1790s, although what still stands is early to mid 19th century. In 1814 William Jameson was commissioned to lay out the Fawcett estate with terraced housing for the middle classes wishing to move away from the overcrowded and polluted riverside. By 1840 fine terraced townhouses on Fawcett Street, John Street, West Sunniside and Frederick Street, Foyle Street and Norfolk Street had been built. The properties were laid out in a grid-iron pattern. There were few business or commercial premises at first. Then shops began to spread southwards from High Street West along Fawcett Street. By the early 20th century Fawcett Street was one of Sunderland's main retail streets. Fawcett Street is some 18 metres wide and contains a significant number of high quality buildings. It is the grandest historic street in Sunderland. The street includes a diverse range of building ages and styles. These include late Georgian houses now converted into shops, fine classical style banks dating from the 1880s, some eccentric late 19th century buildings like Corder House and the Elephant Tea Rooms and some good quality mid 20th century buildings. Through the CA and alongside the fine Georgian and Victorian architecture there are some fine early 20th century properties within the CA, such as the General Post Office (HER 4733) built in 1903, Maritime Buildings (HER 4823) and Sunniside Chambers built around 1900. Other notable buildings include Sydenham House on Fawcett Street and the River Wear Commissioner's Building on St. Thomas Street. The area to the east of the historic core retains Jameson's gridiron pattern but has lost the majority of its historic buildings. High Street West forms part of the historic thoroughfare which linked the old settlements of Bishopwearmouth and Sunderland. A once thriving traditional High Street has fallen into decline.
City of Sunderland, April 1997, Conservation Areas in the City of Sunderland; City of Sunderland, Development and Regeneration Directorate, October 2004, Sunniside Draft Planning Framework; Sunderland City Council, February 2008, Sunniside Planning and Design Framework