Austerfield, Doncaster

William Bradford of Austerfield, near Doncaster, became the second elected Governor of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1621. He continued to serve the Colony for almost 30 years.

Bradford was baptized St Helena's church where the original font can be seen today. Heavily influenced by leading Pilgrim William Brewster, he was a sickly young orphan when they first met, but grew into a passionate religious radical, escaping to Holland with the Brewster family at the age of 18.

After travelling to America, Bradford was a signatory of the historic Mayflower Compact, and bequeathed much of our knowledge about their momentous journey and early years of the Colony in his journal, 'Of Plimoth Plantation'.  

Visiting Austerfield and Doncaster

Austerfield is a small village in the metropolitan borough of Doncaster. St Helena's Church, the Austerfield Field Study Centre and the Butten Meadow plaque commemorate the connections to the Mayflower Pilgrims.

Nearby, at the point where the Gainsborough Road met the Great North Road, lies the market town of Bawtry.  This pretty and historic town has places to stay, shops and eateries.

The larger town of Doncaster is renowned for its horse racing, rich railway heritage and its wealth of Georgian and Regency architecture on the Great North Road.

Doncaster is the town and the borough in which Austerfield is located, founded by the Romans who left behind many artefacts that can be seen in Doncaster Museum.

This was just the start of our story of 2000 years of history that took us through the time of Kings and Castles, to the time of the Mayflower Pilgrims, Horse racing in the 1700 and the start of the world’s oldest classic horserace the St Leger in 1776.

The Industrial Revolution brought the railways with the Flying Scotsman and Mallard the fastest steam engine ever, built here in Doncaster. The wealth of the time created stately homes and a Georgian Mansion House, one of only three in the country, an asset we’re extremely proud of today, located in the heart of our urban centre.

Time and Doncaster move together and now we have Polar Bears, Lions and Tigers at the UK’s number one walk through safari park, the fastest growing airport in the UK, a range of visitor attractions offering a variety of experiences and a great variety of accommodation to suit all tastes.

Doncaster is an exciting town that thinks like a city and it’s continuing to transform itself into a vibrant place to live, stay and play. You’ll always be guaranteed a friendly Yorkshire welcome but if you’re looking for access to London and other major cities we’ve also got fast rail connections and fantastic motorway links due to our superb central location.


Austerfield, Doncaster Highlights

  • Attractions
  • Accommodation
Sign up for the latest Mayflower 400 news

You'll be the first to hear the latest Mayflower news, events, and more.