Sunderland's historic Dun Cow and Peacock pubs set for £760,000 work to restore their historic features

Two Edwardian pubs are undergoing major renovations as part of efforts to make Sunderland’s proud past a key part of plans for a bright future.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 2:10 am

Grade II-listed bars the Peacock and Dun Cow, both opened in 1901, have received £760,000 to repair roofs, stonework, chimneys and windows. The Dun Cow’s clock, which hasn’t worked in over 30 years, will be repaired.

Work has started and is expected to take around five months.

In 2018 Sunderland City Council successfully applied for £1.9million in funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the Bishopwearmouth Townscape Heritage Scheme, which covers 11 buildings including the Empire Theatre and Sunderland Minster. A further £300,000 has been added by the council.

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Director of Leighton, Paul Callaghan.

Now £380,000 of the kitty been invested in the two Minster Quarter pubs, a figure matched by owners Leighton Management.

Other projects, including improvements to Town Park and the Minster churchyard, start soon.Paul Callaghan, chairman of the Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust and Leighton director, said: "The Dun Cow and the Peacock are among two of the finest examples of Edwardian architecture standing in the city.

“When we took them over as part of the MAC Quarter project both were in an extremely poor state of repair and we knew they would require extensive work to the exterior of the buildings.

"The renovation of the Fire Station, completed 18 months ago, has proved to be a huge success and now, with the continued support of the Heritage Fund and Sunderland City Council, we are delighted to be able to restore these two iconic, architectural gems to their former glory."

The Peacock was previously called the Londonderry, as seen here in Victorian times before its 1901 rebuild.

Ivor Crowther of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "Money raised by National Lottery players has achieved an incredible amount for Sunderland’s heritage, with more than £36million invested into projects including the Fire Station, Hylton Castle and Holy Trinity Church.

“This scheme is all about investing and helping to conserve and improve one of Sunderland's most-loved and distinctive areas."

Councillor Kevin Johnston, deputy cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: "There's a lot happening in the city centre with restoration, improvements and new works.

“These two projects are all part of this big picture.”

From left: SV Rutter Building Services Historic Buildings surveyor George Wouldhave, Katherine Whitehead of Ainsworth Spark Architects, National Lottery Heritage Fund senior investment manager Chris Harland, chair of the MAC Trust and Leighton Director Paul Callaghan and City Councillor deputy cabinet member for housing and regeneration Kevin Johnston. Front kneeling, City Council Bishopwearmouth Townscape Heritage officer Judith Miller.