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Sunderland, city and metropolitan borough (1991 pop. 195,064), NE England, at the mouth of the Wear River. The city was established as a shipbuilding center and a coal-shipping port in the 14th cent; shipbuilding ended in the 1980s, and coal mining in the 1990s. Sunderland exports metals and manufactured goods and imports raw materials. Engineering is an important industry; manufactures include aircraft components, electrical goods, glass, clothes, chemicals, and pottery.

A Benedictine abbey, at which Bede studied, was founded there in 674. It was destroyed by the Danes, and its remains are incorporated in the Church of St. Peter. Educational and cultural facilities include Sunderland Polytechnic College, Sunderland College for teacher training, and several art museums; the National Glass Centre is in a former shipyard. The district includes the seaside resorts of Roker and Seaburn and the new town of Washington.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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