Sunderland County Borough began construction of its own asylum during 1893, completed in 1895. The site chosen consisted of sloping land outside the village of Ryhope, with views across to the North Sea
George Thomas Hine was chosen as the architect, with the site picked for its rural location and sea views.
Hine produced a compact layout featuring six blocks of wards and facilities. Other features included a combined recreation hall and chapel, a nurses’ block, lodge cottage, cottages for married staff, a superintendent’s residence and an isolation hospital.
The site finally became known as Cherry Knowle Hospital after being incorporated into the National Health Service in 1948 – named after the farm which thrived on the site.
Today the hospital which provided a refuge for generations of Wearsiders stands empty, with nearby Hopewood Park – a purpose-built £50million hospital – replacing Cherry Knowle.