Silksworths History

Silksworth was the ‘worth’ (an enclosure) belonging to an Anglo-Saxon called Sigelac. Medieval owners of Silksworth included the Lords of Horden and the Middleton family. In 1775it became the site of a large house called Silksworth Hall belonging to a Mr Cummings but passed to an important landowner called William Robinson-Robinson who was descended from the Middletons.

This hall and another called Silksworth House just to its west (later renamed Doxford House) both later belonged to the Doxford family who made their fortune as shipbuilders. Nearby Doxford Park is also named from this family.

To the north of Silksworth is New Silksworth which was first built to house the miners of Silksworth Colliery opened by the Marquess

New Silksworth is a former coal-mining village now in Sunderland, located straddling the boundary between the villages of Tunstall, and Silksworth. The former colliery being situated to the north-west of the village near to the Gilley Law The population of the Sunderland ward was 10,931 at the 2011 census.

Silksworth a brief history: New Silksworth is a former colliery village with a 100-year coal mining heritage. In 1871, according to the Census, there were approx 800 people living in the Silksworth and Tunstall areas, the local area was mainly farmland and where most people worked on the land. However, about 350 were men and their families who were constructing the new colliery. To exploit the rich coal reserves in the area the Silksworth Colliery shaft was sunk in 1869 funded by the Londonderry Coal company. Ten years later in 1879, the local population had risen to 4707 for the Silksworth and Tunstall areas. The increase in population was mainly due to the migration of people to the area seeking work at the new Silksworth Colliery. According to the census returns the miners came from Ireland, Scotland, Cornwell and even from the United States and Germany. The miners and their families had moved to the colliery areas seeking employment and also colliery housing was provided for the miners by the mine owner Lord Londonderry. The miner's life was not an easy one, working conditions underground were very dangerous and the work very arduous. When Silksworth Colliery eventually closed in 1971 it was a massive blow to the local community as many of the local people and businesses relied on the colliery for their livelihood. Just about all remnants of the former Silksworth Colliery have now gone and the former mine site has since been converted into Silksworth Sports Complex. Facilities at the sports complex include:

Notable buildings:


Doxford House is a derelict 18th-century manor house adjacent Doxford Park in the Silksworth area of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. It is a Grade II* listed building

The manor house formerly known as Silksworth House was constructed in 1775–1780 by William Johnson who on his death in 1792 left the property in his will to his friend Hendry Hopper. In 1831 Priscilla Hopper then heiress to the estate married William Beckwith of Thurcroft. He was High Sheriff of Durham in 1857. The Beckwiths moved to Shropshire in about 1890 and the house was let out.

In 1902, Charles David Doxford of (William Doxford & Sons Ship Builders) brother of Theodore Doxford, took out a 99-year lease on the 24-acre (97,000 m2) estate. On his death in 1935, his daughter, Aline Doxford bought out the lease. On her death in 1968, she bequeathed the house and estate to Sunderland Corporation who gave the house its present name Doxord House and turned the gardens of the house into Doxford Park.

In 1989 the house became a student's hall of residence for Sunderland University and from about 2000 to 2006 was occupied by the Lazarus Foundation, a drug rehabilitation charity. Plans to turn the house into apartments were proposed in 2008 but the conversion of the house into apartments was never carried out.

The latest proposal for the redevelopment of Doxford House is to restore the property back into a private family residence with work ongoing in 2014.

St Matthews Church, C of E Church, Silksworth

St Matthew's Church opened in 1872 three years after Silksworth Colliery opened in 1869, the Church played a large part in the formation of the new mining community of Silksworth with the input of miners and their families.

St Leonard's RC Church, Silksworth.

St. Leonard's Roman Catholic Church opened in 1873, four years after Silksworth Colliery opened in 1869, the funding for the building of the church and rectory being provided by Priscilla Maria Beckwith of Silksworth House.

Located behind Blind Lane was the Ebenezer Chapel 1883 (now the Independent Methodist Church)

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The steel gates and fence that were erected by Sunderland Council when they purchased the land of the NCB in the mid ninteies

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Image of the Scullery eatery which was formerly the Sportsmans Arms which was built for the miners of Silksworth Colliery

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Silksworth Lane the road that connects Silksworth village to Sunderland city centre

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This peoples crossing was built by Sainsbury's when they built the store in Silksworth in the mid nineties

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The roundabout at the bottom of High Newport Allotments which is very busy most days

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The gates and fence were built by Sunderland Council when they bought the land of the NCB in 1996

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The entrance to High Newport Allotments showing the local DIY dealers sign details notice they dont charge for allotment members deliverys

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Close up of the gates notice the shadows and the purple flowers on the right hand side of the road

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The warning sign that warns visitors to High Newport Allotments that they enter at their own risk

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View of the road just after one enters through the gates of High Newport Allotments with the speed control sign

Images of the entrance to High Newport Allotments which is in Silksworth an old colliery village


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