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Donnison School Heritage, Education and Media Centre

Bringing History Back to Life

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Telephone: 0191 565 4835


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Our Affiliates

Living History North East

Sunderland Heritage Forum

Sunderland Old Township History Society

Durham Heritage Coast

Banyan Arts

Ryhope Community Centre


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The Donnison  Centre

The Donnison school is a unique visitor, heritage, educational and reminiscence centre. 

The schoolroom is a larger open space utilised for workshops, reminiscence, re-enactments, meetings and small private parties. It is re- created to capture the spirit and ambiance of those by- gone school days. It has some original furniture and fascinating memorabilia. It offers an authentic meeting space with atmosphere and character.




The Donnison Victorian walled garden


The Donnison School enjoys a beautiful award winning garden. Set to the side and the rear of the buildings, this south facing walled Victorian garden and Herb Garden provides an unexpected delight for visitors to the centre. The garden has won 4 awards in the last three years; 3 Sunderland in Bloom awards, under the conservation category and one Royal Horticultural Society (RHS Level 5 Outstanding) award.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  garden_11_400                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Room Hire at The Donnison Centre


The school room can be for used for lectures, meetings, training sessions and social occasions.



Ring for further Details on 0191 5654835

The facilities include access to a kitchen area if required. Full disabled access.

The training room will accommodate around 40 people seated for a conference style presentation/lecture style. It will approximately 20 -22 people seated at tables for formal /informal meetings.

Additionally, refreshments will normally be charged for at £1.50 per head.

The space can accommodate more social and informal settings. Please ring and make an enquiry.






Visitors to the Donnisn School


The Donnison Gift Shop 

The Donnison School also has a small  gift shop for visitors to enjoy. Come and browse our books, cards and print collection of local buildings children’s toys,  jewellry and other vintage items.

Upcoming Events

Amy Robsart's little trip

On the 8 September 1560 Amy Robsart the first wife of Robert Dudley was found dead at the foot of a staircase with a broken neck. Did she fall by accident or suicide or was she pushed?By Stuart Miller

Monday 30 April 2018

A trip down The River Wear from Wear Head to Roker Pier

By George Nairn

Monday 21 May 2018

OPEN DAY: Sunderland History Fair

Saturday 2nd June 10.00am - 4.00pm Sunderland Heritage Forum's History Fair, which brings together all aspects of local and regional heritage at The Quayside Exchange this year. The Donnison will be open for refreshments and a tour around our Geo

Saturday 02 June 2018

The History of Rock Lodge 1870 -1970

By Bill Greenwell

Monday 25 June 2018

Tall Ships: Open Day 10.00am - 4.00pm

Open Day with Sunderland Shipbuilding Exhibition (includes original film footage.) and fresh homemade refreshments.

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Sunderland Keelboats and Keelmen: 11.30am

By Carol Elva Carlyon and Buffet Lunch £7.00 (Book your tickets now!)

Thursday 12 July 2018

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