South Yorkshire

Fishlake is a village in the Doncaster metropolitan district of South Yorkshire.

Fishlake is just over three-miles by road west of Thorne, about 8 miles north-east of Doncaster and around 15 miles south of Selby. The village is some 27 miles north-east of Sheffield.

The flooded landscape from the River Don to the distant Fishlake church in November 2019 The village is situated alongside flood embankments of the River Don with some parts of the village barely one metre above sea level.

Over the centuries the village has had a history of severe floods. The village was one of the worst hit areas when in November 2019 the swollen river after heavy rain breached the flood defences and left homes flooded for more than a week.
More about the River Don floods of November 2019.

The village is close to the point where the course of the River Don was diverted in the 17th century. Before then the River Don flowed eastwards into the River Trent, but in the 1620s the river was diverted into an old dike as part of a scheme devised by Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden to drain marshland. This took the river northwards from Fishlake into the River Aire and, a few years later, after the cutting of a new channel known as Dutch River, more directly into the River Ouse at what is now the port of Goole.

At the time of the Domesday Book census of 1086, Fishlake was already a village of considerable size, with 24 households.

The Grade I listed St Cuthbert Church includes parts dating from the late 12th century, including its arched south door. Most of the church, however, is the result of 14th and 15th century rebuilding.

The Hare and Hounds, Fishlake Fishlake Village Hall Until recently Fishlake had two pubs, The Hare and Hounds, at the corner of Church Street and Church Lane, and The Old Anchor Inn, in Main Street. However, the owners of the latter pub wound up their business early in 2019.

A post office is another facility lost in the village, while an old butcher's shop is now a cafe-bistro. The Village Hall, in Pinfold Lane, continues to provide a hub for the local community.

Fishlake History Society has an interesting online record covering the history of the village in detail.
See the  Fishlake History Society website.

 Village features

The village is on the River Don
Fishlake has a pub.
The village has a cafe.
Fishlake has a village hall.
Place of worship: Anglican.


Bus travel

The village has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Places to visit

Cusworth Hall

Cusworth Lane, Doncaster
Situated two miles north of Doncaster, off the A638 Doncaster to Wakefield Road, this grade I listed building, built in the early 1740s, can be explored together with its impressive parkland with lakes. Features of the house and gardens have been restored to various periods of its life and include ceiling paintings in an Italianate chapel, an Edwardian rose garden and 'below-stairs' features such as its great kitchen, bake house and laundry. The Hall is managed by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council with the support of The Friends of Cusworth Park.
More information at these  Doncaster Council - Cusworth Hall web pages.

South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum

Dakota Way, Airbourne Road
The museum has a collection of aircraft from the first air show to be held in Britain, held at Doncaster Racecourse in 1909, together with more modern preserved light aircraft and jets. It is located about a mile to the south east of the town centre. For opening times see the museum's website.
Details at  South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum website.

Conisbrough Castle

The castle is situated in the small town of  Conisbrough, about five miles south west of Doncaster. Its tall circular cylindrical keep has had its walls and roofs restored to create a feeling of how the castle would have been in the late 12th century when it was built. In 1201, the castle had a royal visit, when King John stayed there. The castle became famous through fiction as the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's 'Ivanhoe'. The historic site is managed by English Heritage.
Further details at the  English Heritage - Conisbrough Castle website.

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

The Victorian country house at Brodsworth, about 5 miles north-west of Doncaster, was built in 1860, surrounded by beautiful gardens. It remained largely unchanged through its lifetime and is now being conserved by English Heritage. Yorkshire bands perform at the hall most Sundays during the summer. A car park for the hall can be accessed from Church Lane, between the villages of Marr and Brodsworth.
More information at the  English Heritage - Brodsworth Hall website.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Warning Tongue Lane, Branton, Doncaster
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, about 4 miles south-east of Doncaster, was created at a former farm and riding school in 2009. It now houses some 400 animals of 70 different species, including polar bears, lions, tigers and leopards and a whole range of other animals native to Africa, South America and other parts of the world.
Find  Yorkshire Wildlife Park on map.

The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft

Belton Road, Sandtoft, North Lincolnshire
Although just outside the Yorkshire border at the former RAF Sandtoft airfield in North Lincolnshire, the museum is only a 12-mile drive from Doncaster. It lays claim to having the world's largest collection of preserved trolleybuses and includes many examples of trolleybuses used in Yorkshire, including those from the fleets of Bradford, Huddersfield, Rotherham, and Doncaster, which have been beautifully restored by volunteers. The museum, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, has a calendar of themed open days on weekends and bank holidays between April and November. The museum also organises trolleybus driver experience days. Details are on the museum's website.
More information at  The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft website.

The Yorkshire Waterways Museum

Dutch River Side, Goole
Helping to preserve Yorkshire's waterways heritage, The Yorkshire Waterways Museum explores the story of Goole Docks and the Aire and Calder Navigation which linked them to the industrial towns and coalfields of the former West Riding of Yorkshire. Admission to the museum is free, although donations are welcome, and for a small charge there are boat trips around Goole Docks operating at weekends, bank holidays and in the school holidays. The museum has a waterside cafe, a gallery of information about the local waterways, a shop and in the dock the preserved tug Wheldale with some of the train of 'Tom Pudding' coal-carrying tubs which from 1863 to 1985 carried coal from Yorkshire's mines along the Aire and Calder Navigation to Goole.
Information and opening times at  The Yorkshire Waterways Museum website

Emergency services

South Yorkshire Police  South Yorkshire Police website.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue  South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Metropolitan district council

Doncaster Council

Doncaster is one of four metropolitan district authorities within the county of South Yorkshire.

It covers Doncaster and many other towns and villages within a radius of between 7 to 10 miles from centrally-placed Doncaster.

Unusually within Yorkshire, the district council is run by an executive-powered elected mayor, who is supported by a cabinet. The mayor chooses the cabinet from elected councillors.

The elected mayor system means that Doncaster Council has two elections to organise, one for the elected mayor and one for councillors. The mayor and all councillors are selected in elections every four years, the last election being in 2017.

The election of 55 councillors is done across 21 wards with two or three councillors elected in each ward. Eight councillors currently serve under the chairmanship of the mayor on the cabinet.

Link to council website:
 Doncaster council

Doncaster is the responsibility of an elected mayor:
Elected mayor

The political composition in the 2017 councillors election is: Labour 43, Conservative 7, Working for Mexborough, the forgotten town 3, Independent 2 - 55 members

Doncaster metropolitan borough electorate (2017): 221,789

(Cross-) County strategic authority

Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority

While having been repeatedly branded as Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, its statutory title of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority came to the fore when a mayoral election was held in May 2018.

Many residents across the four metropolitan districts had been comfortable with the creation of the county of South Yorkshire, what amounted to the missing 'Yorkshire Riding' when it was created in 1974 after Boundary Commission review, but metropolitan counties were abolished as county-wide strategic authorities in 1986. However, legislation in 2009 paved the way to the creation of new strategic authorities.

There has been confusion, however, in the variation of the title of the combined authority covering South Yorkshire with emphasis placed on just one of its four metropolitan areas in its branding. The lashing on of Sheffield neighbours Bassetlaw, a shire district of Nottinghamshire, and Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales and North East Derbyshire, shire districts of Derbyshire as "non-constituent" members of the authority has also proved controversial and confusing.

The Combined Authority provides the local government decision-making on economic development and transport. The authority works with the Local Enterprise Partnership on which the 9 Combined Authority board members elected in their districts as councillors, or in Doncaster's case mayor, are outnumbered by private sector members.

There is now also a mayor elected by the general public for the Combined Authority whose role is to act as an ambassador for the area, be chairman of authority meetings and who will have powers over how public transport will operate in the future.

Link to authority website:  Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority

Police and Crime Commissioner

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
 South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner website.

Fire Authority

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the four metropolitan district councils of South Yorkshire - Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
 South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority web pages.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

South Yorkshire


-1984 In the West Riding of Yorkshire.

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