Sunderland, situated at the mouth of the river Wear in the county of Tyne and Wear, dates back to around 680 AD when it was land on the south bank of the Wear belonging to the monastery at Monkwearmouth, which was situated on the north bank. It was so named because the land was sundered or separated from the monastery by the river. The settlements of Monkwearmouth, Bishopwearmouth and Sunderland eventually merged to form the town of Sunderland. Sunderland and its port grew in importance with the coal and shipbuilding industries and became a major industrial area in the north east. Today although the port remains active those other industries have been replaced by service and manufacturing industries and the St Peter's area of the river is the focus of much innovative redevelopment. Sunderland was elevated to city status in 1992.
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