Doxford Park Housing Estate

Doxy Park, Mill Hill….I’m not 100% sure which is correct, although it may be both – corrections in the comment box below please!


Built during the optimistic housing boom of the 1960s, these tiny flat roofed houses that rested betwixt Silksworth and Herrington had become a problem area by the time I became aware of their existence in the late 1990s. Passing them every day on the way to Shiney Row College I was always fascinated by the estate. Once I learned of the impending redevelopment it was time to revisit with the camera after a fleeting few photos in around 2006. An interesting place to be, especially in the dark, impending arson/stabbing always adds an edge to proceedings.


As of early 2015 the majority of the estate has been demolished by Gentoo, making way for new housing developments, although a small number of the buildings still remain standing. What struck me on my visits, that whilst the majority of the houses were boarded up, burnt out or mid demolition, there were still a small number of people still living in their home on the estate, clinging on for dear life. It must have been incredibly strange to live, often in the only occupied house on a street, when all around you is dereliction and vandalism. This selection of photos taken at the Doxford Park Housing Estate over a 3 year period from 2010-2013.

Andy Martin, January 2015.


  • Rob Clayton January 15, 2015   Reply

    Lovely work. What a shame as looks like it was probably very nice when first built.

    • Andrew Davison November 15, 2017   Reply

      Moved there in Spring 1969 from Blyton Avenue Ryhope. Lived at 8 Discovery Court one of the first street to be finished. Two bedroom house with downstairs under floor heating. No heating upstairs. It had a dedicated garage built in a block nearby. Very pleasant place to live then. Unfortunately even while it was being built some of the Silksworth locals called it Cardboard City and they were probably right.

      • Alison February 14, 2018   Reply

        Andrew , we must have moved into your house at some point after you lived there , my mam and dad my brother and i lived there from i think from around 1973 time but we definately lived in number 8 Discovery Court ( which was 3 bedrooms ) , my mam and dad were in that house until they were forced to sell and move when Gentoo took over , was a fabulous house small but loved it , Happy Memories , neighbours were the Ords next door , veaches and newlands futher up on same side along with Hindmarches ,

      • Martyn Powell April 12, 2019   Reply

        Hi Martyn powell from 1 vanguard court , great days living there and have friends for life , can’t remember you Andrew ,but remember your sister had a crush or her lol, happy days

      • Martyn Powell April 14, 2019   Reply

        Sorry Andrew you lived at no 8 when did you move out after you it was Alfie and the late Ann with there bairn Stephen the ALison family

  • barry withers August 5, 2016   Reply

    Yes it was nice there back in 1970 and 1980s people were lovely and a fantastic place to live then .shame .happly times.

  • colin November 5, 2016   Reply

    I was a 16 year old electrical apprentice in 1969 for the Sunderland PWD wiring those flat roofed houses, even then flat rooves had bad press. Still the new houses look ok. what happened to all the residents?

  • Kim November 15, 2016   Reply

    How long did you live there Barry? Everyone couldn’t wait for Doxford park to be bulldozed but I think it’s sort of sad now it’s gone.its like it never existed 🙁

    • Barry Withers December 16, 2017   Reply

      I lived there for 19 years. But in the 1990s it when down hill.same loved it inthe 70s and 80s.

  • Paul Cryan December 21, 2016   Reply

    I grew up there. Moved there from Town End Farm when I was 2 in 1969, one of the first to move in I think? It was a lovely estate and people from Farringdon thought you were posh if you came from there. All young kids growing up together on new estate meant massive games of football, cricket, Kick the tin or any number of street games. BUT THOSE HOUSES WERE COLD! Ice on the inside of your bedroom window because of NO HEATING upstairs, what were they thinking? Left in 1988 and was rough by then.Place really deteriorated after Hall Farm was built, all of a sudden a new nastier breed of people seemed to appear?? Evocative pictures, great work

    • NorthSands December 21, 2016   Reply

      Thanks Paul, great to hear your experiences growing up there. Would have loved to have experienced the estate in those times first hand. Cheers, Andy.

    • Kim December 21, 2016   Reply

      Thanks Paul!I would love to see pictures of when it was in its prime. There should definitely be somewhere everyone’s old pictures could be put together and viewed by people,would be lovely to look at!People always used to say how posh it was to live there when it was newly built and our generation (born 85) couldn’t believe it . Did you see hall farm getting built too?Thats where I grew up!You must of seen quite a lot of other estates being constructed back then.

  • Carol Elva Carlyon January 21, 2017   Reply

    I think it’s important to mention the plight of all of the people who bought their council houses in the 1980s, only to have to later watch the council demolish the neglected council owned properties around the privately owned houses. People with mortgages to pay off and no hope of ever selling their houses.

  • Gaz. January 22, 2017   Reply

    yes I remember growing up there early 70’s….. we were about 7 I think when we moved to Chester road….. but I always remember it was clean and tidy and full of nice people. Also full of Littel Imps! the cars remember? My first school was just down the pathway, can’t remember what it name was.I think I might have some old pics of Doxford Park. If I find any I can send/post them…..

    Well done this site owner for taking the time and effort to get pictures of ‘old’ Sunderland. I wish (or hope???) you have any of the Ice rink at the leisure centre in the late 70’s early 80’s incase I am in one of them lol.

    I live down south now and I cannot believe they tore it down and put a ships steering wheel or something like that in its place!

  • phil November 6, 2017   Reply

    I moved to doxford park 1969, was first into new school millhill primary, when we first moved in ,no hall farm ,moorside was a building site houses getting built with wood scaffoldind held together with rope,which was used to make rope swings,where morrisons is now,it used to be
    prestos,and before that the cow field, hall farm was built on wheatmans farm, where lidles is now used to be a row of farm cottages,or our play area. The estate was great in them days,lots of flelds around, our nearest paper shop was dodds vg store silksworth,till j clarke opened shop next
    to school and also georges shop near whernside court. Doxford workmans club was just a big hill,to play on,silksworth hall hotel had no houses near, it had open swimming pool,which we could use happy days

  • Ronnie March 7, 2018   Reply

    best memories of all time …we lived in Tree Court 20 half time and 40 the winner hahaha…bird nesting in doxy park…I know I feel crap for them liitle birds eggs we took….wish I could turn back time ,,great people…respectful and always happy to help..God Bless old Doxy park xx

  • Bryan Calvert July 4, 2020   Reply

    Memories of Doxford Pard I used to word in Binns in the town. Had a fried who also worked there Rita Wright nice person.
    I used drop her off the top road Ryhope she used walk over the grass into her house . I used to think the houses all looked nice.
    But ever think changes.

    • Martyn Powell February 3, 2021   Reply

      Did u have brother went in RAF think his nickname was spice or sprice was in aircadets too

  • Andrew Cheeseborough November 2, 2020   Reply

    The good old days of doxy and good old new years eve parties at our house in Crawford ct miss the place hell of a lot RIP doxy Park club aswell

  • Lisa Ward January 14, 2021   Reply

    Fantastic imagery.. [all shoots and collections] I don’t remember the houses being that small?!?! But I guess I was only about 5 at the time my gran had a 4 bed in Hamsterley court..Like Paul Cryan, I visited Doxford Park from Town End Farm [Very hard finding images of the flats I lived in there whilst a small kid] and I remember ice on the inside of windows…even on moving to Farringdon in 1979 I recall that ha ha

  • Simon Robinson February 2, 2021   Reply

    we moved in in 1969 before it was finished. My claim to fame was our house was the last one standing when it was demolished. No 5 Shetland Court. Some great memories

  • Martyn powell February 3, 2021   Reply

    Where was Shetland court memory lol was that near the shop I think tony bullmer Steve Johnston Sharon usher Julia shemmings lived up that way I vaguely remember I think Robinson iam 60 now first up 1968 -69 vanguard court

  • Jean Docherty June 13, 2021   Reply

    Great memories growing up in Doxy Park, we moved up from East End 1970 (The Garths) DOCHERTY family, we lived 2 doors from Jimmy Clarkes shop opposite Mill Hill Primary School Hamsterley court, people were so friendly and everyone new everyone back then, then as years went on, went downhill with riff raff tossed in. RIP Doxy Park and residents that lived there too.

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