Sunderland ( (listen)) is a port city and the administrative centre of the City of Sunderland metropolitan borough in Tyne and Wear, North East England. Sunderland is situated near the mouth of the River Wear which flows through the city and as well as the city of Durham, situated roughly 12 miles (19 km) south-west of Sunderland city centre. Sunderland is within the historic county of Durham.
There were three original settlements by the mouth of the River Wear on the site of modern-day Sunderland. On the north side of the river, Monkwearmouth was settled in 674. King Ecgfrith of Northumbria granted land to Benedict Biscop to found a monastery which, together with Jarrow monastery, later formed the dual Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey. In 685, Ecgfrith granted Benedict Biscop a "sunder-land". Also in 685 The Venerable Bede moved to the newly founded Jarrow monastery. He had started his monastic career at Monkwearmouth monastery and later wrote that he was "ácenned on sundorlande þæs ylcan mynstres" (born in a separate land of this same monastery). This can be taken as "sundorlande" being Old English for "separate land" or to the settlement of Sunderland. Alternatively, it is possible that Sunderland was later named in honour of Bede's connections to the area, by people familiar with this statement of his. West of the Sunderland settlement, also on the Wear's southern bank, the third settlement of Bishopwearmouth was founded in 930.
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