Situated in Sunderland to the west of the city lies Penshaw Monument. Once a part of County Durham but now Tyne & Wear after 1992 when the counties borders were changed.
Built in 1844 as a tribute and honour to John Lambton first Earl Of Durham to whom it is dedicated to. Occupying a prominent position on a 136 metre high hill and standing at over 20 metres high it dominates the landscape.
You may think the monument looks familiar and that is because it is modeled on and is a half size replica of the Temple Of Hephaestus in Athens. Being floodlit now it is quite a sight on an evening.
The very top of the monument is accessible via a stairway built into one of the columns. I have myself had the pleasure of accessing the top and the views are simply amazing, one of the best in the North East.
Access to the top was closed off for many years after an accident in 1926 when a 15 year old boy from nearby Fatfield next to the River Wear plunged to his death. It is only in recent years since 2011 that The National Trust has opened up the staircase on certain days.
A local punk rock band named Toy Dolls filmed a music video inside the monument in 1983, the single was called “dig That Groove Baby”.
Sunderland AFC also feature Penshaw Monument on there club badge.
There is no admission charge apart from to access the roof. Surrounded by woodland, countryside and Herrington Country Park make this an excellent area for walking and bike riding.