Doncaster and Cusworth Hall
Saturday, 8th April 2017
We had the advantage of a cloudless sky for our foray into South Yorkshire. Summer seemed to have arrived early on the pre Easter weekend.
Our walk around the centre of Doncaster led by two members of the civic trust proved to be exceptionally interesting. Doncaster was once one of the most prosperous towns in Yorkshire, much of its money being related to horse racing – particularly the St Leger Stakes which were founded in 1776. We were first shown the remnants of the town’s Roman walls beside St George’s Minster. In the centre of the town, on the old Great North Road, we saw Doncaster’s Mansion House which was designed by James Paine in 1745. A great number of Georgian townhouses survive along Hallgte.
Cusworth Hall, home of the Wrightson family until the 1950s, proved to be a fine piece of architecture. Built mainly in the 1740s, to the designs of George Platt and James Paine, it occupies an elevated position with views over the town of Doncaster. There are some fine Palladian interiors and a surprisingly lavish chapel with a painted ceiling which was restored in the last decade. We were given guided tours by the curator.
This year marks the three hundredth anniversary of James Paine’s birth and Doncaster will be celebrating the architect with a series of events at the Mansion House.