Don Your Way column: Why you should make an effort to see Doncaster's historic buildings

Doncaster has a lot of historic buildings to explore, so check them out.
Doncaster has a lot of historic buildings to explore, so check them out.

How many times in your life have you walked past Doncaster’s historic Mansion House?

The answer, to just about anybody reading this, will be many, many times.

The same goes for Doncaster Minster and Christ Church and many other historic buildings dotted across the town centre and beyond.

But how many times have you actually set foot inside some of the town’s architectural gems?

From chatting to people, it never fails to amaze me how few people have actually glimpsed the ornate and plush interior of the Mansion House, which has sat proudly in the heart of Doncaster’s High Street for many years.

What secrets lie beyond that imposing door and its impressive facade?

Now the building is open to the public on a regular basis, there’s every chance to enjoy the history within and see some of the beautiful artefacts and treasures from the town’s rich heritage. No excuse not to go and have a look at what is perhaps the town’s most significant building.

The same goes for Doncaster Minster.

Probably the town’s most instantly recognisable landmarks and an impressive gateway as you drive into the town across St George’s Bridge.

But again, have you ever ventured inside to enjoy its ornate interiors?

Forget about being religious or not, believe you me, if you’ve got five minutes to spare and the doors are open, get yourself in and have a nosey around its splendour.

We talk about the constant and ever changing face of the town centre, but these buildings and places like Clock Corner and the Corn Exchange are so much a part of everyday life that we don’t perhaps pay them as much attention as we should as we rush about our everyday lives.

The story of Doncaster town centre is one to be enjoyed - and that often means taking time to step back, look and truly appreciate our surroundings.

Next time you are strolling through one of the town’s main thoroughfares, stop, take a look up and see things you may have missed - the impressive columns and drama of the Nat West bank, the sweeping curves of the former Yorkshire Bank on the corner of Scot Lane and High Street, the nearby Cornish pasty shop which is one of the town’s oldest buildings.

Above street level is where the true history of the town can be seen - and a walk along Hall Gate and into South Parade can show up all kind of things you’ve never clocked before.

There’s a lot of moaning about what Doncaster has got, what it has lost and what it has not got, but there are still many buildings and places of which we can justifiably be proud.

So next time you are wandering through Doncaster, take a breather, pause and take in some of the incredible archetictural gems and buildings you take for granted.