Life on the Land - discovering the agricultural past of Doncaster

23 Jun 2016 09:57:43.743

PA 150/16

A new exhibition will look at the rich and varied agricultural past of Doncaster, and will uncover hidden stories from the area’s landowners and labourers.

Life on the Land’, which is open now at Cusworth Hall until the September 18 2016, will showcase Doncaster’s agricultural past. There are items on display from the unique collections of Doncaster Museums, Doncaster Archives and a never before seen private collection.

 These include agricultural artifacts and iconic images that characterise Doncaster’s rural past, and a small but important private collection from a local farming family, which collectively offer new insights into ‘Life on the Land’. The exhibition explores key themes in rural history, including agency, agricultural work and workers, housing conditions, innovations, and the relationship between town and country.

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Agricultural and rural history

The exhibition is based on the original research of its curator Dr Sarah Holland, from The University of Nottingham.

Dr Holland specialises in agricultural and rural history. She speaks at national and international conferences about her research, and has published articles in the field including one on the evolution of the Doncaster corn market. She is currently completing a book on the rural history of the Doncaster area as well.

Dr Holland said: “Historically over time, Doncaster has become synonymous with Romans, racing, railways and coal mining. However, Doncaster was once a vibrant and important agricultural district – a centre for innovation, experimentation and trade.

‘A fascinating and important history’

“The vestiges of this important trading centre can still be seen in Doncaster’s architecturally notable market buildings. This exhibition will enable people to experience the often hidden, but fascinating and important history of Doncaster’s agricultural and rural past.”

For more information email the curator at, visit her blog at or follow her on Twitter @DrSarahHolland

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits

More information is available Dr Sarah Holland from The University of Nottingham at

Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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Published Date
Thursday 7th July 2016

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