Tyne and Wear HER(12421): Sunderland, Ashbrooke Conservation Area - Details
Sunderland, Ashbrooke Conservation Area
Designated in 1969. It is a spacious, leafy suburb with Victorian terraced housing, fine church architecture, large villas, historic parks and green spaces. The CA covers some 74.86 hectares. In the early decades of the 19th century this area was predominantly agricultural. However in 1831 a cutting was made through Building Hill that inspired the development of this area south of the town centre. Burdon Road was built through Building Hill linking to the Stockton Turnpike (HER 3619). In the mid to late 19th century fine upper and middle class terraced housing was built. The first houses were closest to the town centre. Construction gradually moved south. By 1856 Grange Crescent (HER 4751), The Esplanade (HER 7201), Park Place East (HER 7167) and West (HER 7168), Douro Terrace and St. George Square had been erected. A number of large country houses/villas had been built in their own grounds - Bede Tower (HER 4759) and West Hendon House (HER 7191) by the town's civic leaders and captains of industry. In the second half of the 19th century, housing was built along Mowbray Road, The Cloisters, Tunstall Road and Tunstall Vale - such as Thornhill Terrace (HER 7218). Just before the turn of the twentieth century The Elms and Belle Vue Crescent, West Lawn and Holmelands Park were built along with St. John's Methodist Church (HER 7112), Christ Church (HER 7177) and Langham Tower (HER 7181). After the turn of the twentieth century developed slowed. There was little new development in the inter-war period or through the post war period, except for the Civic Centre (HER 9689), St. Aidan's School and Sunderland High School. Some new residential development has been built and some of the large houses have been subdivided into flats, which had led to a decline in the fabric and character of these houses. The Victorian terraces generally are 2-3 storeys and have boundary walls with a long narrow garden to the front and yard to the rear. The villas were set in large landscaped gardens, but some have been developed or lost to car parking. Several villas turn their back on the road network making the rear of the property the public face of the building, hiding away their more attractive frontages. Ashbrooke exhibits a range of architectural styles. There is a strong hint of the Arts and Crafts in the design of some villas, especially Langham Tower (HER 7181). Carlton House is Tudor in style. St. Bede's Tower (HER 4759) is Italianate. The churches are primarily Gothic revial in style. St. George's Church (HER 4777) is 13th century style and St. John's (HER 7112) is very Anglican with geometric tracery. A wide range of materials are used, mostly rough reddish-brown brick such as at Thornhill Terrace, Grange Terrace and St. Bede's Terrace and Welsh slate. Brighter glazed bricks have been used at Holmelands Park, Valebrooke and West Lawn, complemented by terracotta detailing. Valebrooke Gardens are built with white glazed brick. The churches and villas are all sandstone - red sandstone at St. George's Church, light rusticated stone at Christ Church and St. John's. Smooth ashlar is used at St. Bede's Tower and Carlton House. Boundary walls are rubble limestone or brick. Some properties have cast iron railings set in stone plinths. Whilst the walls largely survive, the railings were removed during the War. Replacement boundary treatments are often a mis-match of low walls, fencing and hedges. Ashbrooke Sports Ground is the most extensive green space in the CA.
City of Sunderland, Development and Regeneration Directorate, January 2005, Ashbrooke Conservation Area Character Study - Supplementary Planning Guidance; Borough of Sunderland, 1978, Area 4: Ashbrooke: Conservation in Sunderland Consultative Report; City of Sunderland, 1998, Ahbrooke: A walk through the Conservation Area; T. Corfe, 1973, A History of Sunderland; T. Corfe, 1983, The Buildings of Sunderland 1814-1914; G.E. Milburn & S.T. Miller, 1988, Sunderland, River, Town & People: A History from the 1780s to the present day