Nestled within acres of historic parkland, Cusworth Hall stands as a Grade I listed house, offering fine vistas that stretch across the picturesque borough of Doncaster. The house was built between 1740 and 1744 for local landowner, William Wrightson and boasts a rich heritage that spans over two centuries. There has however, been a building on the site since at least the 14th century.
For most of this time, the Battie-Wrightson family called Cusworth Hall home adding and altering both the building and the park. In 1766, the accomplished landscape designer Richard Woods undertook a remarkable transformation of the park, solidifying his reputation as one of the preeminent landscape designers of the 18th century. The hall’s park, spanned an expansive 250 acres, featuring a meandering serpentine river adorned with three splendid lakes and embellished with ornate features like the Rock Arch and the Cascade.
Recent extensive restoration, painstakingly carried out between 2002 and 2007, have lovingly restored sections of the hall to their former glory, allowing it to re-emerge as a captivating social history museum. The museum’s collections chronicle the everyday lives of Doncaster’s inhabitants, spanning from the 18th century to the present day.
Yet, Cusworth Hall has transcended its role as a mere historical landmark. It has become an integral character in a larger narrative, guiding the South Yorkshire community’s transformation from a town to Britain’s newest city.
Doncaster Stories: a journey through time
Doncaster Stories is the brainchild of Wayne Sables, a documentary filmmaker and multimedia specialist. Supported by the City of Doncaster Council and Heritage Doncaster, this ambitious project has been brought to life through funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Doncaster Stories is a heartfelt compilation of the faces and voices of over 20 individuals who have shared their personal stories, each a unique thread in the tapestry of Doncaster’s history.
The project’s premiere takes place on Saturday 23 September at 7pm. The centrepiece of the event will be a spectacular projection mapping of the documentary onto the imposing facade of Cusworth Hall. Projection mapping, a digital marvel, has the power to transform objects, from automobiles to architectural wonders, into dynamic canvases for projected images, films, and digital content.
Adding to the evening’s magic, the Doncaster City Singers will deliver a live performance, infusing the event with the melodies of the city.
Capturing Doncaster’s essence
Stables is passionate about creating work that challenges the norm and pushes creative boundaries beyond the obvious. For this project, he has collaborated with local creatives, designer Estelle Pearce and animator Natasha Poland, to create a bespoke visual experience that captures Doncaster’s unique mood and atmosphere. This visual journey is set to be a vivid reflection of the city’s vibrant spirit.
In Stables’ own words, “Cusworth Hall makes the perfect location for the premiere because this is a film about Doncaster heritage, and the hall is, of course, the home of the city’s social history museum”.
Admission to the Cusworth Hall premiere is complimentary, but it is advisable to secure a ticket in advance by visiting www.heritagedoncaster.org.uk. Doncaster Stories promises to be an evening where history, heritage, and modernity unite under the evening sky, celebrating the city’s past and illuminating its promising future.
Article based on press release.