Sunderland Guide: St. Peter’s Church, Monkwearmouth

Location: Directly on the A1018 road just after crossing Wearmouth Bridge, accessible on foot from St. Peter’s Metro Station

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The oldest surviving structure in Sunderland, St. Peter’s Church heralds itself as a 1400 year old heart of scholarship, worship and enlightenment in Anglo-Saxon Britain. Built in the 7th century as part of the Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Priory, St. Peter’s Church hosted the Venerable Bede, “The Father of English History” who was one of the greatest teachers and writers of the Early Middle Ages and one of the most important scholars of antiquity.

Around this ancient church grew up the parish of Monkwearmouth, which would stand as an independent village for the course of a millennium before it was ultimately incorporated into Sunderland by the end of the 18th century. Yet here nonetheless stands as a placemarker for where it all began. A grade I listed building, the church has long been undergoing a process of nomination to become a UNESCO world heritage site. Anglo-Saxon burials and other archaeological discoveries have been made around its periphery.

St. Peter’s Church makes an excellent item in a broader day itinerary for Roker and Monkwearmouth, of which can also include the National Glass Centre, Sunderland Marina, Roker Beach and more. The church continues to perform worship services under the Church of England on Sunday and Wednesday mornings.

Nearby Amenities: The Jacksons (Pub), University of Sunderland St. Peter’s Campus, The Howard Arms (Pub), The Albion (Pub), The Avenue (Pub)