Doncaster St Mary's Bridge

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Bridge

There are no visible remains

NameDoncaster St Mary's Bridge
Alternative NamesDonecastre
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityDoncaster
1974 AuthoritySouth Yorkshire
Civil ParishDoncaster

There was a house of Gray Freres at the north ende of the bridg, communely caullid the Freres Bridge, conteyning a 3. arches of stone. Here I markid that the north parte of Dancaster toune, yn the which is but litle and that mene building, standith as an isle : for Dun ryver at the west side of the towne castith oute an arme, and sone after at the este side of the town cummith into the principal streame of Dun again. There is also a great bridge of 5. arches of stone at the north ende of this isle : at the south ende of the which bridg is a great tournid gate of stone, at the west side whereof is a fair chapelle of our Lady, and therof it is caullid S. Mary Gate. At the est ende of this bridge be 2. or 3. great milles as at the water. (Leland)

If judicial responsibilities came late to the burgesses of Doncaster, responsibility for maintaining the public fabric of the borough probably dates to at least the late twelfth century. The cost of maintaining the bridge over the Don, known in time as St Mary's bridge from the dedication of the chapel that was built upon it, must have constituted a continual drain on borough resources. The bridge, originally of wood, was probably rebuilt in five arches of stone sometime after 1247 when a special three-year toll on carts using the bridge was granted to 'the good men of Doncaster'. It is likely that the bridge chapel and gate tower were integral to the new structure. Offerings at the chapel would be used to support the bridge. The new bridge was clearly in need of repair by 1279 as forty days' indulgence was granted in that year to those who contributed to its upkeep. A further royal grant of tolls for three years was made in 1311. (Goldberg 1994)

The five-arched St. Mary's Bridge was topped by a gate tower with a chantry chapel on the west side. (Buckland et al 1989)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSE568038
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Goldberg, P.J.P., 1994, 'From Conquest to Corporation' in Doncaster: A Borough and its Charters (The Waterdale Press) p. 53
  • Buckland, P.C., Magilton, J.R. and Hayfield, C., 1989, The Archaeology of Doncaster, The Medieval and Later Town (British Archaeological Reports: British series 202) p. 55
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 (plan) online copy
  • Hunter, J., 1828, South Yorkshire. The History and Topography of the Deanery of Doncaster in the Diocese and County of York Vol. 1 p. 19
  • Miller, E., 1804, The History of Antiquities of Doncaster (Doncaster) p. 40 online copy


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 524-5
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 35 online copy

Primary Sources

  • 1906, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III (1232-47) Vol. 3 p. 498 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1894, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1307-13) Vol. 1 p. 410 online copy