First opened in 1964 as a purpose-built museum building, Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery was created to display a wide variety of local objects and artefacts alongside finds from across the county of Yorkshire and beyond. Some of the museum’s key objects include a Cheswold car that was handcrafted in Doncaster in 1914 by E.W. Jackson and Son. Also on display are the Edward medals received by three local miners for extreme bravery following the Bentley pit disaster of 1931, commemorating their attempts to rescue their fellow workers who were trapped underground.
The town’s racing heritage is celebrated the collection of nine Gold Cups dating back to 1779, while Doncaster’s Roman influence is shown by the unique Danum Shield, an important example of Roman era military hardware. It is one of just 10 such roman shields, so it presents a significant archaeological discovery.
There is a large and varied temporary exhibition programme throughout the year, and the museum regularly puts on special activities for children of all ages, to encourage younger minds to discover the story of Doncaster and its surrounding areas.
Upstairs in Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery are its art galleries, purpose-built to make the most of natural light. There is a good mixture of nationally important works of art on display, along with a diverse selection of temporary exhibitions and more modern pieces. There is also an important selection of Yorkshire Pottery on permanent display.
Local schools run by Doncaster Council are entitled to a total of four free visits throughout the year and can also borrow up to 10 items from the Museum Loans Service, each half-term. The museum has its own Education team that can deliver workshops to schools on a variety of topics in support of the wider national curriculum, as well as helping increase local knowledge. The workshops that are run by Museum staff are designed for children to get hands-on with history, science, and art – all of the topics covered by the artefacts onsite.
Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery also shows various eras of local natural history, archaeology as well as the changing galleries of both fine and decorative art. The temporary exhibitions that run throughout the year, designed to encourage new visitors and returning people alike, include pieces that tour nationally across other museums, as well as displays of work by individual artists and local art groups.
The Museum is crammed full of unique and interesting items that cover the story of the borough right from its earliest origins in the Ice Age right up to the present day. From rotten Romans to rampaging railways, covering everything in between, there is always something new to discover.
Explore the story of one of England’s oldest towns in the ‘River and Road’ gallery. This unique layout and display features a diverse selection of items relating to natural history, archaeology and social history.