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  Hesley Hall

An early reference to Hesley Hall can be found in Edward Miller’s The History and Antiquities of Doncaster and its Vicinity, 1804. ‘The mansion was built about forty years ago by Francis Willoughby, Esq. brother to the late Lord Middleton, and is at present occupied by Colonel Gooch. The situation is rather low, but the house, with a pleasant lawn to the front, has a good effect from the road between Doncaster and Blyth.’

The photograph below shows Hesley Hall at the beginning of the 20th Century when it was the home of Benjamin Whitaker, the eldest of twelve children of Joseph and Eliza Whitaker all born at Palermo where the family had trading interests. Hesley Hall had one of the largest households in the area in 1901 with its indoor staff consisting of a chaplain, butler, housekeeper, two footmen and six maids. The outdoor staff included a coachman, groom, gardener, farm bailiff, gamekeeper and several farm workers. Benjamin Whitaker was formerly a Lieutenant in the West York Yeomanry Cavalry and was a JP in both Nottinghamshire and the West Riding. He served as High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in 1893 and was also Deputy Lieutenant of that County. He died in 1922 aged 83. His wife Caroline died in 1941 when Sir Albert Whitaker inherited the Hesley Estate. The Hall later became a School for Crippled Children and then a Special School.










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