Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Originally posted in May 2008, I want you to know a bit about Doncaster since it is where the Procter family lived. I am posting it again, since Henry Procter's birthday is in April. We have only traced them back to 1760, but so far, they all lived in or around Doncaster. If you visit the Vision of Britain link and look at Doncaster, you will find interesting descriptions written by early visitors to the area. The link is at the left, and all you have to do is type in "Doncaster" and it will take you to the information. Go to the "Travelers Tales", and you will find the list. One was written by William Camden, whose first edition of Brittania was published in 1586 in Latin. The copy is taken from a 1607 edition, so it is a view of Doncaster at that time. The other excerpt was written by Daniel DeFoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe, among other things. His interesting account of Doncaster was published in the 1720's and is based on actual visits he made.
John Bartholomew's Gazetteer entry is from 1887 and is also on this site. He said that Doncaster "was the Danum of the Romans and the Dona Ceastre (Camp on the Don) of the Saxons. Previous to the Reformation it was the seat of several monastic establishments. Its corn market is of considerable importance, and its trade is mainly agricultural; it has, however, mfrs. of canvas, sacks, and ropes, some iron and brass foundries, and agricultural implement works, besides the extensive locomotive and carriage works of the Great Northern Ry. About 1 mile to the SE. of the town is the racecourse, one of the oldest and finest in the kingdom."
I found it interesting that the Romans built a fort there where they crossed the Don River. Then the name changed with the arrival of the Saxons. Eventually, it took on its present name. Imagine having a history dating back to the Romans (70 AD). Actually, they have found evidence of people being there even earlier than that. A good place to look for information about the way of life at the time of the Romans and the archeological discoveries is to check out this site:
and look for "Romans on the Don." There is a lot of good information there about the Roman time period in and around Doncaster as well as the archeological research of the area.
I also thought Wikipedia had a nice little summary with photos. I added a couple of the photos to this posting.
Doncaster is known for horse racing, lovely country homes, historical buildings, Robin Hood, being on the main road from the south going north into Scotland, and good places to stay, among other things. It is less than two hours from London and about three hours from Scotland. The locals refer to it as "Donny." I think I need to visit this place!