Going, going, gone: Historic Doxford gatehouse demolished

The demolition of the 1903 gatehouse to the former Doxford shipyard in Pallion is now complete.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 12:30 pm

The gatehouse, used by thousands of workers for over 80 years, has been removed to make way for a continuous dual carriageway between the A19 and the Port of Sunderland.

The work is part of the third phase of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC 3), which started in May.

Demolition work on the gateway began in August with the removal of asbestos, followed by the roof.

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Clockwise from top left. The gatehouse has now been completely demolished, the arches were last to go and will be preserved, demolition begins with the roof in August and the gatehouse as it looked in 1921.

The structure, which dated back to 1903, was a reminder of Sunderland's glorious shipbuilding heritage. The last part of the building to be removed was the arches, which have now been taken down and put in storage. They will be restored and re-erected, not far from the new road in 2021.

A pressure group, Save Doxford’s West Gateway, wanted to preserve the entire building and had called the demolition “cultural vandalism”.

However the structure was in such a dilapidated condition it was beyond repair, Sunderland City Council has said.

SSTC 3 will create the dual carriageway through Pallion, running beneath the Queen Alexandra Bridge, into Deptford and onto the city centre and St Mary's Boulevard, acting essentially as an extension of the A1231.

Final demolition work on the Doxford's West Gatehouse, Pallion

A £40.5million Government grant towards the £70.8million project was confirmed in March this year. Council capital funding of £16.9million, an underspend from the Northern Spire project of £7.8million and a DfT local transport grant of £5.6million, have also all contributed to the project.