Tyne and Wear HER(12437): Roker Park Conservation Area - Details
Roker Park Conservation Area
Designated in 1995. The Conservation Area is centred on Roker Park (HER 1841), which is a Registered Historic Park. The CA displays many fine Victorian and Edwardian terraces, several buildings of note and seafront and promenade features. It covers 25.24 hectares. Until Victorian times the Roker area was mainly agricultural. Roker Terrace was built on the Cliff tops in the 1840s. The suburb began to grow after the opening of the park in 1880. Until then the middle classes had preferred leafy Ashbrooke (HER 12421). In 1880 Sir Hedworth Williamson and the Church Commissioners donated land for a park at Roker Ravine. The Corporation built a road bridge to span the Ravine opening up Williamson's lands to the north for development. In 1885 Roker Pier was started. By the mid 1890s Roker Terrace had extended southwards along the seafront. St. George's Terrace and part of Roker Park Road had been built. A group of large villas were built in their own grounds directly north of the park. By 1905 Roker Park Road, Park Parade, Roker Park Terrace and Ravine Terrace were complete. Three churches had been built including the grade 1 listed St. Andrew's (HER 7163). By 1907 the Conservation Area as it exists today was largely complete. Roker had become a thriving seaside resort. The development of the tram system was fundamental to its popularity. The park was a focus for tennis and bowls and the King presented four white swans for the lake. Roker Pier opened in 1903 after 18 years of construction. Development all but ceased after the Edwardian period. In the later 20th century some gaps in terraces were infilled and bungalows built in the grounds of some of the villas. Roker remained a holiday resort well into the 1960s.
City of Sunderland, April 1997, Conservation Areas in the City of Sunderland; Sunderland City Council, February 2007, Roker Park Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Strategy; City of Sunderland, 1998, Roker: A walk through the Conservation Area; T. Corfe, 1973, A History of Sunderland; T. Corfe, 1983, The Buildings of Sunderland 1814-1914; S. Reeder, 1992, Whitburn and Roker in old picture postcards