Roker Park

  • Description

    The ravine which leads to the beach. On either side of the ravine stood two statues of a boy and girl called "The Gleaners". Twelve of these statues were brought to Roker from Holland by the Abbs Family; the other 10 were known as "Babbies" and were used to decorate their house on Portobello Lane. Their current whereabouts are unknown. Passing under the two bridges you will notice several caves, now secured for safety reasons. The one on the right is known as "Spottee's" hole 19 so named because a shipwrecked sailor, thought to be French, took refuge there in the 18th Century. The name reflected his clothing. It is said he survived by lighting fires on the rocks, plundering the ships that were lured onto them. He also begged from local people and his presence on the beach scared many. The fisherwives of Whitburn who had formerly walked along the sands to sell their fish took to making their journey by boat in order to avoid him. Spottee eventually disappeared as mysteriously as he had arrived. The cave still carries his name. This particular cave was thought to be the entrance to a secret underground passageway to either Hylton Castle or more likely, the nearby Monkwearmouth Monastery established in 674AD, adjacent to St. Peter's Church on the north bank of the River. Many unsuccessful attempts have been made to explore the cave. One group of 18th Century explorers followed a passageway which seemed to be heading in the direction of the Monastery, but had to turn back for fear of "foul air". In 1870 Sir Hedworth Williamson had the place explored again: a few bones were discovered but no passageway. It was subsequently blocked up.
  • Owner

    Sunderland Public Libraries
  • Source

    Sunderland Public Libraries (Flickr)
  • License

    What does this mean? Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License
  • Further information

    Resource type: Image
    Last modified: 7 years, 3 months ago
    Viewed: 1287 times
    Picture Taken: Unknown
  • Co-Curate tags


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