Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Garden

Alexander Iles
Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Garden
Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Garden

Built in the heart of Sunderland city centre, Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Garden tells the fantastic history of Sunderland from its earliest days. It opened in 1810 and has quite a lot of history itself. Starting at the beginning of the human story in Sunderland in the stone age, the ‘Secrets of the Past’ Gallery has archaeological finds from the lives of first farmers. From there, it advances through time, and Roman finds can be seen alongside the Anglo-Saxon history and the development of Sunderland into an industrial giant of coal, shipbuilding and the modern automobile industry. In fact, the first ever Nissan car to be produced in Sunderland is also in the museum alongside other exhibitions in the museum.

One of the most popular exhibitions is “Wallace the Lion”, who came to Sunderland in 1868. His stay in Sunderland was so popular that when he passed away, the museum chose to acquire and taxidermy his remains. He has a special place within the museum and even to this day brings large crowds and is more than happy to pose for photos. The museum has a collection of paintings by L.S. Lowry who resided in Sunderland and created several works depicting the coast and riverside of Sunderland with its ships and coal works. These are wonderful to look at as they give a view of the city by one of the ‘greats’ of working-class art.

Outside the museum, a large bronze statue of a walrus was unveiled in 2000 to remember an actual taxidermied walrus that used to reside within. Sadly, it has deteriorated and no longer exists. It is thought that it was this walrus that inspired Louis Carrol to write the short narrative poem ‘the Walrus and the Carpenter’ in Alice Through the Looking Glass. The revamp project was initially meant to have a carpenter alongside the walrus but ran out of funds, so the walrus stands alone.

The winter gardens themselves are a fantastic tropical experience with the added surprise of having models of dinosaurs within them, great fun for younger visitors. The warmth can be appreciated in the depth of winter, especially in a region not famous for its hot weather.

Burdon Rd,Sunderland SR1 1PPSR1 1PP View map
Telephone: 01915612323 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday10:00am - 4:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Garden

a large mansion house surrounded by three blocks of colour
Until
ExhibitionsLeeds
Colours Uncovered at Harewood House

Explore colour through an amazing range of artefacts at ‘Colours Uncovered’, a new exhibition at Harewood House, from colour theory and pigment to classical painting and contemporary textiles. from £12.00

Where to go near Sunderland Museum, Library and Winter Garden

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Mowbray Park

In the heart of Sunderland is Mowbray Park – one of the oldest parks in the North East of England. This beautiful park is wonderfully Victorian, being carefully designed to allow for a pleasant walk and fresh air in the centre of the city, while showing you plans from across the world.

D'Acqua
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D’Acqua

A stone’s throw from Sunderland museum and winter gardens, is D’Acqua – an exceptional eating experience in the heart of the city. In a Grade II listed building that used to house the Sunderland and South Tyneside water board, you will be able to enjoy the ambience that resonates out of these fantastic bricks and mortar – French oak floors and handmade bricks at that.

Reynolds Outdoor Centre
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Reynolds Outdoor Centre

Reynolds Outdoor Centre has provided outdoor wear, military surplus and camping gear since 1860. In the North East of England there is a fantastic array of wilderness to explore, from hills and mountains through to beautiful valleys and seaside walks.

Port Independent
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Port Independent

Port Independent is an independent clothing retailer selling high-end fashion and quirky, carefully curated pieces.

Aphrodite
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Aphrodite

In 1994 Aphrodite was established by two brothers, Andrew and Duncan McKenzie, who had a passion for bringing good menswear to people in their city. Since then, they have been providing designer clothing from a range of high-quality brands that have large scale appeal to those who love fashion such as Stone Island, Canada Goose, DSquared2, Kenzo & Balmain – though that list is not exhaustive as they have clothing from every brand from A-Z.

Angelo's Ristorante
Sunderland
Restaurant
Angelo’s Ristorante

Angelo’s Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant in Sunniside, Sunderland. Sitting within in a Grade II listed building, the restaurant enjoys surroundings that have been carefully restored using the original features of the building, including a rare glass staircase from the 19th century.

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The Fire Station

The Fire Station in Sunderland now has a state-of-the-art auditorium, bringing a whole new wave of live music, theatre and comedy to the city.

St. Peter's Church
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Place of worship
St. Peter’s Church

St. Peter’s Church is a Grade I listed building on the campus of Sunderland University, founded originally by Benedict Biscop.

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