It is known that the church, occupies the same site as the Roman fort of Danum. A Norman fortification is known to have occupied the site and it is probable that materials from that building were used to build the early church, but a precise date for its foundation isn’t known.
Over the years from its foundation to its destruction by fire in 1853, a progression of additions and alterations is catalogued. The church was described as ‘one of the noblest, of its own degree, if not in England, certainly in Yorkshire’. It had a lovely chancel screen, rather ugly galleries, a three decker pulpit, fine stained glass, and many memorials.
Its destruction, by fire on the night of 28th February 1853, was seen as a great calamity for the town. Within seven days, a rebuilding committee had been formed and raised over £11,000. Unusually Queen Victoria broke her own rule not to contribute to local charities and gave £100 to the fund. The Archbishop of York sent £500 and the Town Council donated £5,000.
It has been suggested that the Minster is the ‘proudest and most Cathedral-like of Gilbert Scott’s Parish Churches’. This is most evident when entering the building through the West Door and the 169 feet length is equally balanced by the width of some 65 feet. The tower is 20 feet square and is supported by massive pillars with a circumference of 28 feet which are needed to support the full height of 169 feet as well a peal of eight bells within it.
The visitor is struck by the rich carvings both inside and outside, the fine stained glass and the magnificent organ, which was added in 1862 by the famous Organ Builder, Edmund Schulze. The Forman Chapel, which also serves as the Baptistry, was built at the sole expense of William Henry Forman in memory of the Seaton Family and is built in an advanced Decorated style. In the centre of the chapel stands the massive Font carved out of a single piece of serpentine.
On 17th June 2004 that the Bishop of Sheffield granted the Church of St George its Minster status in recognition of its unique position in Doncaster and district and its involvement in so much of the religious, social and cultural life of the town.
If you know anything more about the heritage of this site and would like us to include it here please contact us.
Address: Church Street, Doncaster, DN1 1RD
Opening Times: Open Monday - Saturday 10.30 – 3.30pm.
Contact: 01302 323748 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions: A1(M) J36. Follow A630 into Doncaster and follow signs for town centre. After passing under Frenchgate Centre, Minster on left. To nearest car park, turn left at roundabout.
Grid Reference: SE 574 036
The text has been written by volunteers from the site, more information can be found when you visit in person.
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