Stony Gate: The Obscure Settlement which sits beyond the A19, what’s the history behind it? And is there anything to do there?

Stony Gate or Stoney Gate is a small village and farmstead, as well as now several car showrooms, which lies just outside of the central area of Sunderland. Perched on the A690 and sitting just beyond the A19, it is easy to miss this place usually as you’re usually going past it so quickly. Yet, it marks the first stop on the road to the City of Durham before you reach Houghton.

The Durham Road is a route which has connected Sunderland and Durham for over 1000 years. It seems almost inevitable that long before it became a busy modern road, Stony Gate grew up directly around the old route and was presumably part of the parish of Houghton.

Although it is hard to distinguish what exactly “Stony” may mean besides stones (as modern readings are usually corruptions of Old English words) it seems very plausible given its position on the road that Stony Gate was of course a “Gateway” into the old parish of Bishopwearmouth. Its name seems inseparably connected to its geography.

But there is more to it than that. Archaeological records show that at some point, the Romans were present in the area which is now Stony Gate. It is little surprise these items were found as in the early modern period, Stony Gate was also home to a quarry which is was just to the north of the current car show room.

If you’re thinking of visiting Stony Gate, there’s obviously not much to see but if you’re looking for family activities, there is one fun place you can go which is great for young children called “Down at the Farm” which contains play areas, animal petting, tractor driving, sandpits and much more! Due to its location it is easily reachable of course on the A690 Durham bound, and just off the A19.