Sunderland: Building a City traces the physical development of the city of Sunderland, from the earliest settlement patterns into the new millennium. The story is an intricate one, showing how Sunderland grew from a group of medieval villages and hamlets, mainly focussed upon the river and port, into the multi-faceted, flourishing city of today. The book covers the upsurge in the coal trade, the expansion of associated industries and commerce, and accompanying developments in communications infrastructure. The book describes the settlements of Sunderland, the role of water in the development of the city, its mansions and estates, its working-class housing and its architecture. It also looks at how work and social patterns have affected the built environment of the new city.