Memories of Sunderland: The Prospect Hotel

In the late 1930s some of Sunderland’s first social housing states were under construction. While the very first was Ford Estate near to the river, the year 1938 would see the new suburbs of Humbledon Hill and Plains Farm get underway.

With the new estate of Plains Farm emerging to the Southeast of the Durham Road, a new intersection across the road was created with Premier Road spanning East, and to the west what would become the B1405, eventually connecting to Pallion.

The Prospect as seen on a 1939 ONS Map

The two roads created a grid crossing, and it would be in 1939 that a new pub appeared on this nexus which would commemorate its name. This pub was aptly named “The Prospect” and the people of Sunderland would derive many memories from it.

For roughly 70 years, the prospect stood on that four way junction. One of its most memorable moments was when thousands of people gathered outside it in celebration following Sunderland’s victory in the FA cup in 1973.

Younger people will likely remember attending many child birthday parties in the pub, a popular and convenient destination to reach. The Prospect was something for everyone, an icon of the area.

However as with many local pubs in the city, a changing world was not kind to the prospect. It become increasingly difficult to run a pub business as people’s drinking habits changed and communities shifted, and the pub subsequently closed its doors in the early 2000s.

As was also common, the owners of pubs now seen more profit in selling up their land to new investors than to attempting to salvage the venue. Thus in 2008, the Prospect land was sold to Lidl, the pub was demolished and that supermarket now stands in that famous spot today.

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