The history of Bawtry has continually been defined by the Great North Road running through it linking the south with the north of England.

From the early Middle Ages it was on the strategic route from London to York and formed part of the direct link between the peak district and Europe.

Bawtry was once an important coaching stop on the old Great North Road, where horses were changed on the way to Scotland.

  • Roman legions use the River Idle to distribute goods and
    personnel and there us ample evidence of occupation in the
    3rd and 4th centuries AD.
  • Until its establishment as a market town in 1213 (any earlier
    pre–Domesday settlement was probably centred around the
    west bank of the river).
  • Bawtry grew in the 14th century benefiting from a strong
    strategic position as a port on the Great North Road.
  • Bawtry utilized its position to survive troubled times (mid 16th
    century) and continued to develop its river trade in the late 16th
    and early 17th centuries.
  • During the late 18th and early 19th centuries Bawtry became a
    highly prosperous community, with new wealth flowing in to the
    town from the coaching trade along the Great North Road.
  • The opening of the Chesterfield canal in 1777 brought a decline
    in Bawtry’s river trade, but the town was able to adapt and thrive.
    The construction of a new bridge and many large town houses
    signified the towns growing confidence and great affluence.
  • Bawtry remained an important coaching centre
    between 1780 and 1830.
  • Although the introduction of railways in 1848 saw the decline in
    long distant coaching, Bawtry was able to adapt as a ‘feeder’
    town with coach services linking to the major railway terminals of
    Rotherham and Doncaster.
  • The majority of buildings in the present town centre date from
    the years 1780–1840. Bawtry Hall, churches and a number of
    coaching inns were established at this period.
  • In the late 19th century as Doncaster market gained importance
    and the railway reduced the coaching business on north south
    routes. Although the new Town Hall (1890) established a sense
    of revitalized public spirit, Bawtry entered period of decline, and
    the number of recorded inhabitants dropped off.
  • During the Second World War, Bawtry Hall became one the
    main headquarters of RAF Bomber Command.
  • Bawtry has grown in the 20th century much due to increase in
    motor traffic and proximity to A1. Residential development has
    taken place around the centre of the town and there has also
    been much infilling in the old core, both for houses and shops.
  • The opening of Robin Hood International airport in 2005 at
    nearby Finningley has affected development pressure on land
    and stimulated traffic growth.

© doncaster.gov.uk | Read more: Bawtry Conservation Area

18th Century

Bawtry: 18th-century
Bawtry: 18th-century

1820

Bawtry 1820
Bawtry 1820

1932

Bawtry 1932
Bawtry 1932

Today

Bawtry Today
Bawtry Today

Then and Now

It’s interesting to see how our town used to look when everything was in ‘black and white’.

High Street
High Street
High Street
High Street as it looks now
High Street
High Street
High Street
High Street as it looks now
Swan Street from the West
Swan Street from the West
Swan Street from the West
Swan Street from the West as it looks now
Swan Street from the East
Swan Street from the East
Swan Street from the East
Swan Street from the East as it looks now
Market Place
Market Place
Market Place
Market Place as it looks now
Market Cross
Market Cross
Market Cross
Market Cross as it looks now
Church Street
Church Street
Church Street
Church Street as it looks now