Old Doncaster was to be found in the West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974 when it became part of the new county of South Yorkshire along with other towns and cities including Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. Doncaster featured in sheets 276, 277, 284 and 285 of the Ordnance Survey 6″ inch series of the West Riding of Yorkshire. The table below gives a breakdown of the areas covered by the four Doncaster area maps. Brief excerpts are also shown from the Kelly’s Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire 1881 to give a flavour and character of the area.
|NW Doncaster||Yorkshire 276 SE||Cusworth, Scawthorpe and Scawsby|
|NE Doncaster||Yorkshire 277 SW||Doncaster centre, Wheatley, Bentley and Intake|
|SW Doncaster||Yorkshire 284 NE||Doncaster centre, Bessacarr, Lakeside, Belle Vue and Hyde Park|
|SE Doncaster||Yorkshire 285 NW||Balby, Hexthorpe, Sprotbrough and Warmsworth|
DONCASTER is a municipal borough and market town, head of a union and county court district and a polling place for the Southern division of the Riding, in the Lower division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tick hill, in the rural deanery of Doncaster, and archdeaconry and diocese of York: it is about 10 miles from the counties of Nottingham and Lincoln, it is 53″ 31′ north latitude, 162 miles from London, 18 north-east from Sheffield, 16 east from Barnsley, 22 north-west from Gainsborough, 29 1/2 south-east from Leeds, 20 south-east from Wakefield and 35 south- by-west from York; principally built on the south bank of the river Don, which rises near Penistone, flows thence to Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster, thence to Thorne and Goole, where it joins the Ouse, near its confluence with the Humber.
The Great Northern railway has a station here. The Midland and Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Companies have also each goods stations.
There are several iron and brass foundries and agricultural implement makers, as well as breweries and malting establishments.
The population in 1861 of the borough was 16,406, and in 1871, 18,768; the entire parish is 21,277. This increase in the town population since 1851 is due partly to the erection of extensive plant works by the Great Northern Railway Company, which furnish employment to about 1,500 skilled mechanics.