The following is taken and paraphrased from Hatfields Historical Notices which was written well over 100 years ago. Because of this, some of the local and topographical information is a little off the mark by todays standards. Please bare this in mind as you read on.
Cross Street, lying between Spring Gardens and Union Street North was built in 1799-1800. Mr Pearson’s orchard and gardens on the north side presented a most cheerful prospect. Its isolated position promoted the health of the residents, amongst whom were, in the spring of 1819, Hugh Reid (a celebrated naturalist), Thomas Foulstone, John Butterfield (father to Mr Butterfield, land agent to the town council), Edward Siddall, John Alexander (son of a very reputable local civil engineer who was responsible for much of the town’s drainage and turnpike works), Robert Jubb, Isaac Guest, John Thompson, Francis Hodgson, Francis Hill, Thomas Lister, Robert Fox, George Knowles, Benjamin Patrick, William Fretwell, Edward Snidall, Jervase Mankin, John McManner, William Gleadall, and James Swift.
There was a certain Mr Thomas Bradford who was, during the latter part of the 18th century, speculating and investing in Doncaster land. On the 19th April 1798 he is described this way, “then late of Alverley Grange, in the parish of Wadworth, but then of Woodlands, in the parish of Adwick-upon-the-street, in the county of York, gent”. Talking of the land acquired for the building of Cross Street in particular, the document goes on to say, “all that plot or parcel of building ground, as then staked out, situate in Doncaster, on the south side of and near to a certain street there called St Sepulchre Gate-without-the-bar, being part of certain gardens, lately purchased by the said Thomas Bradford, together with other tenements, lands, and premises, of and from William Jarratt, late of Doncaster, gentleman, deceased, and which said piece of land before mentioned, and intending to be thereby conveyed, adjoins upon and fronts eastward to a certain new street or highway, of the width of forty two feet (Spring Gardens), as then lately set out by the said Thomas Bradford, and then used as such, leading from the said street called St Sepulchre Gate-without-the-bar, in a line southwards and communicating with a certain lane or highway called Green Dyke Lane, or Chequer Lane, and contains in breadth at that end 66 feet. It adjoins upon and fronts northward to a certain other new street of the width of 30 feet, branching and turning westward (Cross Street) from the said above mentioned new street, then lately also set out by the said Thomas Bradford, and contains in length on that side one hundred and thirty five feet, little more or less, abuts upon the other side of the aforementioned gardens or garden ground, and contains in breadth at that end 66 feet and adjoins upon other parts of the same garden, then also belonging to the said Thomas Bradford. And it contains in length on the south side 135 feet, and which said parcel of land was then in the possession of John Bagshaw. Bagshaw’s piece was purchased at his death in 1818 for £102 10s. Cross street merged into the more popular title of Cleveland Street in the autumn of 1831.
Cleveland Street was named in honour of William Harry Vane, son of the 2nd Earl of Darlington, by the sister of the 1st Earl of Lonsdale. William succeeded his father on the 8th September, 1792. He was created Marquis of Cleveland in 1827 and then Duke of Cleveland in 1833. He served as Lord Lieutenant of Durham before being honoured as a Knight of the Garter in 1839.
Frederick Fisher Esq, Doncaster’s town clerk, had the duke as a personal friend. Mr Fisher believed him to be “the kind of powerful friend of Doncaster”. His main interest in the town was horse racing. He maintained a magnificent stud and took an avid interest in the success of the national sports and pastimes on the Town Moor. One of his horses, ‘Chorister’, won the St Leger, and in 1832 his brown colt, ‘Muley Moloch’, won the Champagne Stakes.
The street extended from High Street to the site of the ancient chapel of St James.
There was one small problem though, for up to this point, Cleveland Street was closed off at one end, the end nearest to Balby Road as we know it today. This was because land, belonging to a Mr John Ellison, a gardener, was standing in the way. However, Mr Charles Siddall, builder, undertook an arrangement between himself and Mr Ellison, whereby, a five pound bank note was paid for permanent passage through his land. At midnight, hedgerows and trees vanished so that the neighbours in the morning thought that the hand of fairies had been at work!
Mr Fisher together with Mr T.B.Mason, Mr Siddall, and Mr Parkin dedicated the road before handing it over to the corporation. In appreciation of the huge task of providing the townsfolk with such a new and important road which would surely boost the local economy, the corporation had the following written in the minute books, on the 23rd December, 1830, “Grant of waste-land to Mr Frederick Fisher, in consideration of his dedicating more land to the public. Resolved, that the common seal be affixed to the grant produced, which has been approved by council, of a small piece of waste-land in Doncaster, at St James’ Pond (Shakespeares Head), to Mr Frederick Fisher, in consideration of his having dedicated to the public a large quantity of land of considerably greater value”. At a meeting held on the 13th February, 1834, with William Hurst Esq in the chair, it was agreed “Cleveland Street, extending from the Rein Deer Inn to the Balby turnpike road, having been thrown open to the public by the proprietors, and a considerable sum expended by them to form a new approach to the town, it was resolved unanimously that the said street be drained, formed, and stoned by the surveyors of the parish as soon as they could conveniently”.
Mr Fisher happily lived to rejoice that the spirit of his enterprise and foresight had brought increased trade and wealth to Doncaster.