For the past few months, Farnton.org has been conducting research into the history of Farringdon. In doing so, we have been able to reveal and compile a long lost story of the estate which stretches back over 700 years, all of which had been completely absent from public memory. The area is not just a post-war housing suburb, but a former Monastic Grange of the priory of Hexham, Hamlet and Manor estate. Many influential families and individuals in Sunderland’s early history resided there. However, following the construction of social housing in the 1950s, this heritage was forgotten.
Having accumulated this research, Farnton.org now calls upon the authorities and representatives of Sunderland to help participate in recognizing this history and to promote it. We believe that Sunderland is something we should always take pride in, and only by promoting consciousness and understanding of our history can we affirm our identity and demonstrate who we are to the world. The newest revelations on Farringdon add to Wearside’s rich heritage and add to knowledge of historical Bishopwearmouth, as well as the broader area which was known as “The Township of Silksworth”.
As a result, Farnton.org makes the following proposals in order to achieve this:
1. Creation of a “historical marker” plaque on Anthony Road– These small blue disks may seem insignificant, but they matter deeply in illuminating the story of an area and the people associated with it. When conducting our research, we found that the “core” of the former Farringdon settlement, manor and farm lies on what is now Anthony Road. This is visible on maps going back 200 years, as well as photography pre-dating the council estate. As a result, the assignment of an English Heritage Plaque would be a simple, yet important gesture which makes the broader public aware of the history.
2. Allocate resources and personnel towards local archaeology: The revelation that Farringdon is an area of historical interest dating back to the Middle Ages should be taken as an opportunity for further research and discovery. The compilation of old records and books only tells part of the story, and as a voluntary effort Farnton.org lacks the resources and authority to pursue archaeological investigations. We call upon local authorities, historians and organizations to coordinate where possible in seeing if there is anything that can be found underneath Farringdon, especially around the “old quarter” in Anthony Road. Rumours abound of “old graves” being found in the 1950s, as well as a Neolithic tool.