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Barnes, Sunderland facts for kids

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Barnes is an inner suburb in the southwest of Sunderland in northeast England, situated about a mile from the city centre. The area is split into Barnes, which lies towards the east, and High Barnes, which lies around Barnes Park and the Bede Sixth Form Centre of City of Sunderland College. Barnes is bounded by Chester Road to the north, Durham Road on the south, Springwell Road to the west and the city centre to the east. However, these boundaries are not officially set; views vary as to where the area begins and ends. The population of this ward taken at the 2011 Census was 10,987.

There are two churches in the vicinity of High Barnes, Ewesley Road Methodist Church and St. Gabriel's Church.


The land that is now Barnes was once owned by the Bishop of Durham and was little more than fields in the Middle Ages. Over the years it has been owned by several families: firstly the Daltons, then the Bowes, then the Ettricks and finally, the Pembertons (these four families are now the names of the four houses in Barnes Junior School). The Ettrick family mansion, situated to the north of the modern day park on the hill overlooking the surrounding area, was the centre of the estate. The mansion house fell into disrepair and was demolished in the mid-19th century. Formerly Little Sisters of The Poor operated a Catholic care home, built in the late 19th century, on the site; it dominates the area. The Nuns relinquished the very large building in 2013 when the number of inhabitants dropped to twenty; the care home has been taken over by St Cuthbert's Care and continues to operate. The Pemberton family appear to have taken over the estate's ownership in the mid-19th century and lived in a red-brick mansion house called 'The Barnes' situated in what is now the lower bowling green areas of the park; 'The Barnes' house itself survived until 1921 when it was demolished to make way for the bowling greens. It was approached by two avenues of Dutch Elms; most of the trees have long since died, however the grand avenue remains as the path from the A690 Durham Road entrance to the park. During World War II, several houses in Colchester Terrace were destroyed in the blitzkrieg. No evidence of this damage remains, however it can be seen that the houses change in style from two-storey 1920s-built terrace houses to cottage style houses.



Barnes is well served by buses on Chester and Durham Roads, with frequent services to the city centre, as well as Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham, Consett and Washington. Services also exist for Herrington, Silksworth, Farringdon and Hastings Hill. Aside from the main bus lanes, the 8 and the 35 services provide a service to the town centre from Ormonde Street and Barnes Park. Barnes has no metro station, but Pallion, Millfield and University stations are within walking distance.

Barnes Park


Barnes Park was laid out in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Taken together with its post war extensions, which run to the former county borough boundary, it is the largest park in the city. The land for Barnes Park, set in a beautiful valley through which the Bishopwearmouth Burn flows, was bought in 1904 for the sum £8,500.

Three years later, when the depression of trade struck in 1907, the laying out of the park was started - this became a source of employment for a number of practical gardeners from the area, with a total of 2,798 men being employed. The park was then opened in August 1909. Many of the established trees were retained with oak, ash, beech and elm trees constituting its main wooded growth. Paths meandered throughout the park in all directions and at the west side, on the most elevated piece of ground, two bowling greens, tennis courts, and a cafe were established.

The park has since been home to a wide range of wildlife and with nesting boxes being provided, breeding birds have regularly returned to the park over the years. Water hens, starlings, linnets, snipes, tits, diving ducks, and chaffinches can be frequently observed.


After a two-year bidding process, the Sunderland City Council secured over £3 million in Heritage Lottery funding to restore the historic features of Barnes Park and to redevelop its amenities for future generations. Brambledown have been appointed the main contractors in the restoration.

The restoration of Barnes Park will include the restoration of the cannon, bandstand, railings and park gates, as well as the construction of new play spaces and a sensory garden. Additionally, excess shrubbery and tree coverage will be removed, and the lake will be rejuvenated.

The restoration scheme is planned to take 18 months, split into two phases. Phase 1 commenced in October 2009; Phase 2 commenced in April 2010. Whilst work will be solely split into these two phases, there will be certain activities from Phase 2 which will be worked upon during Phase 1, such as tree removal and installation of CCTV cameras.

The restoration of Barnes Park was a collaborative effort between local residents, school children, council members, and Friends of Barnes Park. Cllr Mel Speding commented that "This success is also down to the support of the many people involved, including the citizens of Sunderland who gave up their time for the consultations and the local friends and community groups."

Throughout the restoration/regeneration, the Coach House Cafe will remain open. The bowling greens will be open as usual during the bowling season and the play areas will open immediately upon their completion, in accordance with Health and Safety regulations for the site (i.e. access to the remaining park will be closed and only the play area accessible via the Coach House entrance at Barnes Park Road).

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