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Definition of SUNDERLAND
seaport N England in Tyne and Wear on North Sea pop 286,800
geographical name(Concise Encyclopedia)
Town, seaport, and metropolitan borough (pop., 2001: 280,807), northern England. Located at the mouth of the River Wear on the North Sea, the town was known as Wearmouth in Saxon times; it formerly included Monkwearmouth, site of a monastery built in 674 where the Venerable Bede studied. Sunderland itself (named for the part of Monkwearmouth sundered from the monastery by the river) was chartered in the late 12th century. The port grew rapidly as the coal trade developed in the 17th century, and by the mid-18th century it was a major shipbuilding centre. Modern industries include glassware and automobile manufacturing. Within the borough are the seaside resorts of Roker and Seaburn. In addition to the town of Sunderland, the city and metropolitan borough includes the towns of Washington, Houghton-le-Spring, and Hetton-le-Hole.