At the end of 1854 a new burial ground was created at Galley’s Gill.

The following excerpt can be found on the Sitelines website, Tyne and Wear’s Historic Environment Record  http://www.twsitelines.info/SMR/5010

Tyne and Wear HER(5010): Bishopwearmouth, Rector’s Gill Cemetery – Details

Corder, writing probably in the immediate post-war period adds: “it only remains to add that a recent scheme turned Gill Bridge into a temporary playground for children and a sewer driven across it with pagan indifference to the burials, children playing football with skulls so I was told and the tomb stones scattered and all record lost. A very indecent and callous business even if they were dead for years”. The state of the towns graveyard was a cause for concern as the Appendix to the Second Report of Commissioners of Inquiry to the General Board of Health on.. The Sanitary Condition of the Borough of Sunderland reported: “The attention of the Committee has been called to the state of the churchyards… They are all crowded with the remains of the dead and scarcely a day passes over but that in preparing a place of sepulture all decency and propriety are outraged by the exposure to the public gaze of the mouldering remains of some fellow mortal… under a large free school in the Low Row, Bishopwearmouth there are a series of vaults in which already upwards of 60 or 70 bodies are deposited, and where it is intended to deposit more. Your Committee are informed, that on these vaults being opened, the effluvium which escapes is most offensive and dangerous…”. The Rector’s Gill Cemetery, with vaults and Episcopal Chapel are marked on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map of 1854. When the Galley Gill area was landscaped in 1972 a number of tombstones were stood against the perimeter wall of the site. Most are now illegible, but the earliest dates from 1816/7 and the latest possibly 1871. It is not known whether the bodies were removed from the graveyard or whether the ground was deconsecrated.

A contemporary view from the former cemetery of The Minster, formerly the church of St Michael’s and All Angels, Bishopwearmouth where the Bishop appointed Rector lodged in the Rectory, described by William Paley in 1795 as ‘one of the best parsonages in England’ (Sunderland Antiquarian Society).