St. Peter’s church, also referred to as a scheduled monument as Monkwearmouth Anglo-Saxon monastery and medieval priory, lies within a wider historical setting. To put that into clearer context, below is a list of monuments within the City of Sunderland and the modern wards within which they fall –

  1. Defended settlement on Humbledon Hill
    Barnes Ward
  2. Hasting Hill cursus and causewayed enclosure, 600m south of Hasting Hill Farm
    St Chad’s Ward
  3. Hylton Castle: a medieval fortified house, chapel, 17th and 18th century country houses and associated gardens/grounds 
    Castle Ward
  4. Monkwearmouth Anglo-Saxon monastery and medieval priory (St. Peter’s)
    St Peter’s Ward
  5. Round barrow on Hasting Hill, 230m west of Hasting Hill Farm 
    Sandhill Ward
  6. Seven Sisters round barrow, Copt Hill, Houghton-le-Spring 
    Copt Hill Ward
  7. Triple Rampart Iron Age Hill Fort on Penshaw Hill (suggested)

The above all point to human occupancy dating back three thousand years. More recent human activity has obscured much of the archaeology, but that is to be expected in a region which continues to be occupied, especially one which thrived during the industrial revolution. This just means that we need to look harder if we are to find evidence anywhere.