Famous Wearside mansions - including the place where thousands took their driving tests

Sunderland’s spectacular mansions will be put under the spotlight in a new book.

Southwick Hall, Grindon Manor and Cleadon Meadows are all included in the latest work from historian and author Trevor Thorne.

Trevor is going back through the keyhole for a book which also looks at Hylton Castle, Ramside Hall and Tavistock House.

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Trevor Thorne has produced his latest book on the great mansions of Sunderland.

Just like his first book, it looks at the people who lived in the magnificent houses as well as their lives and the history of the buildings. Some are still standing and others have disappeared.

Trevor said: “Several people who read the first book have made suggestions about further houses which could have been included.”

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One notable building is in The Cloisters. If you took your driving test from the 50s onwards, it might just get your attention.

The land on which the house was built was known as ‘hospital land’ and was farmland which provided income for the Mowbray Alms-houses near St Michael’s Church.

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A magnificent house in the Ashbrooke area which features in Trevor Thorne's new book.

This unusual building, in Ashbrooke, is distinctive because it contains a large number of windows with different designs on different floors.

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Trevor said it was ‘worth more than just a glance when passing. The building will be familiar to those who sat their driving test in the town from the 1950s onwards’.

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From 1879 to 1901, Hannah Gallye Lamotte lived there and her son William, a solicitor, also lived with her.

The unusual Cloisters building was constructed on this land at Ashbrooke. Trevor wonders if this scene shows the builder and the owner discussing how to proceed.
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Her husband, Charles, was an Aberdeen University-trained doctor, whose practice was in Upper Sans Street in the 1850s.

Hannah became a widow after Charles died in 1872.

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Records show that shipowner James Westoll was the owner of the house between 1901 and 1915. He was part of a local shipping family and he also owned a large house near Darlington.

In 1903, it was leased to John Walter Campbell, who was an estate agent with offices in Fawcett Street. Today, the building is used as offices.

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Another of the buildings to feature in Trevor Thorne's latest book.

Trevor’s new book is available now at Waterstones, Sunderland Antiquarian Society, Clays Nursery, Sunderland Museum and Haswell’s Farm Shop, priced £9.99.

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The author, Trevor Thorne.