Visiting Doncaster Minster
Join the Minster Creatures' Quest
Did you know that there are weird and wonderful, strange and beautiful animals that decorate and guard the church?
Follow the Minster Creatures' Quest to discover facts and stories of the life and times of the Minster
Your quest is to find clues, from the sheets provided, that are hidden in and around the Minster. Some clues use the stone carvings on the outside of the Minster, the gravestones, plaques, notice boards, windows and objects inside the Minster to create the quest. The quest will lead from the earliest occupancy of the site to the present day and ask the questor to note down dates and names of some of the notable events and personalities in the history of the site. Drawings will also be required to complete the quest. The goal will be to finish at the picture of St George and the Dragon.
The quest is free and open to all children. For those, who are involved in the Doncaster Children's University Project, your passport will be stamped on completion of the quest. The quest will take up to 2 hours
The Minster is normally open at the following times:
Monday: 10.30 – 3.30pm
Tuesday: 10.30 – 3.30pm
Wednesday: 10.30 – 3.30pm
Thursday: 10.30 – 3.30pm
Friday: 10.30 – 3.30pm
Saturday: 11.00 – 2.00pm
The Minster has a full colour Guide Book which is now on sale in the Minster. With a Forward by the former Archdeacon of Doncaster, the Venerable Robert Fitzharris, an Introduction by Brian Sprakes, and the main body of the text written by Ray Chapman the book also includes some exceptional colour photography of both the inside and outside of the Minster. At £1.00 the book represents excellent value – ask to see a copy when you visit.
Our aim is to have the Minster open to the public for as many hours as possible and we have a trained and enthusiastic band of volunteer Minster Stewards who enable this to happen. If you are interested and feel able to contribute some time we would like to hear from you.
How to Find Doncaster Minster
Doncaster Town Centre Map showing Parish Boundaries.
With acknowledgements to "A Church Near You" website.
Children’s Workshops at Doncaster Minster
The following is a brief outline of workshops currently available for schools and community groups at Doncaster Minster. If you need more information about any of the workshops or supporting materials, please e-mail us (see Contact Us for contact details) giving the workshop number and taking into account the following:
- Many of the workshops are aimed at groups of no more than 15 persons (unless specified). If your class or group is larger than this and you still wish to visit, we suggest you pick more than one activity with the possibility of the children rotating onto another activity depending on the time allocated for your visit.
- If there are any special needs for any member of your party please let us know in advance and we will do our best to accommodate them.
- Some of the workshops can be split between the Minster and home/school/group work. If the activity lasts more than 2 hours and you still wish to participate but can’t commit to visiting the Minster in this time frame, we can work with you to achieve this.
- Evening workshops can be arranged at the Minster or in your group’s meeting place, subject to staff availability.
- If you have a budget for art materials please let us know. What we can offer at present is restricted to the materials we have. Other activities can be arranged depending on what materials groups/schools etc have or can obtain.
- If you wish to break for lunch during your visit, please let us know what time you usually break and for how long. The times given below are for the duration of the activity and do not include breaks. Transport should be arranged with this in mind.
- Tours of the Minster take at least half an hour. If a tour is not included in your activity and you wish to take one, please let us know well in advance and factor this time frame into your visit.
- Sketching in the Minster – The children will take a guided tour of the Minster during which they will be asked to look out for things they can later draw. After the tour they will be given sketching equipment and spend a set period of time drawing something they like. At the end of the drawing period the group will try to guess what the pictures represent and find where the subject is located in the Minster. 2 – 3 hours (or 1 hour sketching without the tour and picture hunt) with up to 30 children.
- Dragon Logo – Creating a children’s brand for the Minster. The group will discuss what kinds of things the logo could be used on and design a cartoon Dragon character that can be used in conjunction with children’s merchandise and materials at the Minster. The ideas will be submitted to create an actual brand. 1 – 2 hours.
- Guide Book – The group will take a guided tour of the Minster and be encouraged to ask questions which will be noted. At the end of the tour the group will discuss what should go into a children’s guide book and how it should look. 1- 2 hours.
- Creating a Guide Book – To be taken in conjunction with activity 3 (and activity 2, time permitting). Based around what was discussed in the previous workshop, children will make up a mock page of the guide book with words and pictures. These ideas will be submitted for inclusion in an actual guide book. 1 – 2 hours.
- Animals in the Minster – search for all the animals that are depicted in the Minster and draw and colour them. These pictures will be used in an ‘animal safari’ where visitors try to find the animals that match the pictures. 1 hour.
- Illuminated Capitals for Christmas – decorate a pre-printed capital letter with a Christmas theme. The letters collectively spell out MERRY CHRISTMAS. 1 – 2 hours. 1 or more groups of 14.
- Mini-mosaics – Using the stained glass windows as inspiration, draw and colour your design on a ‘tile’ blank then complete as a mosaic using torn up coloured paper and glue. 2 hours
- Design a stained glass window – study the windows in the Minster and discuss how they are made up. Draw and colour your own window design. 2 hours
- Stained glass window story – find a window that you like and make up a story about the people in it. 1 – 2 hours
- Make up a Minster Treasure Hunt – The group will take a guided tour of the Minster. After the tour we will discuss what questions could be asked in a treasure hunt. 1 hour
- George and the Dragon – the group will listen to the story of St George and the Dragon and then draw and colour pictures to illustrate the story. The pictures will be used as a display in the Minster around St George’s day. 1 – 2 hours
- Design a Guild Banner – the groups should research Doncaster Guilds before the visit. We will discuss the various Guilds in Doncaster and think about what they might have had on their banners. Individuals will design a banner for a Guild of their choice. 1 – 2 hours
- Victorian Greeting Card – using images and scraps to cut out and paste onto a card blank, create a decoupage greeting card (depending on the season – Valentine, Easter, Christmas, Birthday etc). 1 hour.
- Mock Wedding/Baptism – find out about the ceremonies, what they entail and who attends. Role play. 1 – 2 hours (subject to availability of clergy)