Doncaster, one of the major towns of South Yorkshire, is located about 20 miles from Sheffield.

Doncaster is built on the site of the Roman fort of Danum, on a Roman road between Lincoln and York. The main route between Lincoln and York was in fact Ermine Street which entailed crossing the River Humber in boats. This was not always practical so the alternative route via Doncaster was necessary, and thus Doncaster became an important staging post on the Roman map.

Transport has always played an important role in the town's heritage. Because of Doncaster's strategic position on the Great North Road, the stagecoach trade of the 17th and 18th centuries generated the wealth that built the town centre in the Georgian fashion with the luxurious Mansion House as its civic headquarters.

Horse breeding for the stagecoach trade also led to horse-racing and to the foundation of Doncaster racecourse . The St Leger Stakes run at Doncaster is the oldest classic horse race in the world.

When the railway came to Doncaster, the Great Northern Railway Locomotive and Carriage Building Works was established there. The Doncaster plant became famous for building the famous LNER locomotives Mallard and the Flying Scotsman, as well as many thousands of other locomotives.

The Minster Church of St. George, a landmark on Doncaster's skyline, has a fascinating history. The present church was built in the 1850s after the medieval church was sadly destroyed by fire. This masterpiece, by architect Sir Gilbert Scott who also designed St Pancras station in London, boasts a rare Schulze organ and fine Victorian glass.

Doncaster's elegant Mansion House, a focus for civic pride, has dominated the High Street for over 250 years. It was designed in the Palladian style by the architect James Paine.

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery is situated in pleasant enclosed gardens in the town centre. It tells the story of the Doncaster region using natural history, archaeology, local history, fine and decorative art. The Regimental Museum of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry is housed in the same building and includes one of the most extensive medal collections to be exhibited in any museum in the UK.

Aeroventure is a museum specialising in post-war aircraft and other flying memorabilia and is located at Lakeside, just minutes from the town centre.

Doncaster achieved first place position in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition in 2003 and 2004.

OS grid reference SE 575 025


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Local attractions

Cusworth Hall, 2 miles north of Doncaster, is an imposing 18th century country house set in extensive landscaped parklands. Once home to the Battie-Wrightson family, the Grade 1 listed building is deemed a site of special interest due to the preservation of all elements of a Georgian country house. It houses displays on the history of Doncaster and its people. The Hall and Park have recently undergone a major refurbishment programme.

Brodsworth Hall, 5 miles north west of Doncaster, is one of England's most complete Victorian country houses. With over thirty rooms on view, it showis how a wealthy family and their servants really lived. The 15 acres of gardens, a rare survival from the Victorian Age, have been restored to their 1860s heyday.

Conisbrough Castle, 4 miles south-west of Doncaster, is considered to be one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Europe. The spectacular white circular keep of the castle dates back to approximately 1180. Made of magnesium limestone, it is the oldest circular keep in England.

Sprotbrough Flash, one of the spectacular features of the Don Gorge, is accessible by riverside paths and trails leading from Sprotbrough lock and can be views by walkers enjoying the Trans Pennine Trail. Nearby Denaby Ings, Thorpe Marsh and Potteric Carr are Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Sites with an incredible array of flora and fauna.

Read on

Books about Doncaster

Born in Doncaster

Diana Rigg (b.1938) - actress.

Jeremy Clarkson (b.1960) - forthright motoring journalist and broadcaster.

Useful and informative links

darts (Doncaster Community Arts)
Based at The Point, Doncaster's arts building, darts organises many community-based arts activities.
Doncaster Free Press
Online news from the local newspaper.
Doncaster photographs from Geograph
Doncaster Theatre and Music Hall History
Doncaster TownTalk
The Villager
Doncaster's Independent Community Newspaper
Wikipedia article on Doncaster

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