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Pallion, Sunderland

Pallion Hall

Last Updated:

8 Jun 2020

Pallion, Sunderland

This is a

Country House

54.915231, -1.421121

Founded in 

Post Medieval

Current status is


Designer (if known):


Site is currently unoccupied, but the A1231 runs across it.

'The name Pallion is said to be a contraction of Pavilion, the summer seat of the Lords of Dalden. Pallion Hall remained a rural retreat until Sunderland's encroachments led to its demolition in 1901. The site was later developed for industry. The C19 house replaced an earlier hall. George Short, shipbuilder, lived there from 1850. It was the birthplace of Sir Joseph Wilson Swann, inventor of the incandescent light bulb. The stairs and many other fittings were removed to Unthank Hall in Northumberland. During the 19th century the house was bought by Sunderland ropemaker Christopher Webster married to Mary Laing from another prominent ropebuilding family and they lived at Pallion Hall until their deaths in 1894 and 1899 respectively. Writing in 1892 the local historian Taylor Potts recorded that Christopher Webster 'laid out the whole river frontage of his Pallion estate - extending from the corner of the West Quay to his eastern boundary - for wood shipyards, but they were not fully occupied until years later.' The 1870 OS map shows the house in wooded grounds on the west side, glasshouses and a kitchen garden near the south boundary as well as drives and walks. On the east side of the house were a stable block and lodge.'

Retrieved from Sitelines

Listing Description (if available)

On both editions through the latter half of the 19th century Pallion Hall can be seen just south of the wear. In 1862, the Hall was quite isolated and only neighboured a small shipbuilding yard and a few terraced streets for the nearby industry.

This is a similar scene on the second edition, with the grounds following a small dene to the west down to North Ford Farm.

By 1921 the Hall had been demolished to pave way for the expansion of the staiths and the shipbuilding yards. It connected to the NER line to Penshaw and Durham, and the small spur can be seen which took it to other areas of Wearside.


Photograph of Pallion Hall, undated. It was demolished in 1901 to make way for George Short's shipyard. Therefore this photo is around the turn of the century.

The estate is quaint and elegant in nature, but reserved in grandeur. Joseph Swan, of incandescent lightbulb fame, was the occupier of this country house.

Retrieved from


Photograph of Pallion Hall, undated. This image shows the country lane leading to the house from the east, featuring the gatehouse.

Retrieved from Sunderland History and Memories on Facebook


Another photograph of Pallion Hall, undated. This photo seems much earlier than the others due to its quality and grain effect. A notable feature seen on these photos is that the front windows are covered in stone on the ground floor.

Retrieved from Sunderland History and Memories on Facebook

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