Decline

Following the end of hostilities, many country houses tried to return to the golden age they had experienced before the War. In some cases, the heir to the estate had died, and the estate was burdened with heavy death duties. Working men and women had experienced a taste of freedom, and many did not wish to return to a life in service. This post-war period was the beginning of a slow but steady decline for many great estates.

Doncaster’s country houses experienced very mixed fortunes in the decades following the end of the war. Some, like Sprotbrough Hall and Wheatley Hall, were demolished to make way for new developments. Others, such as Campsall Hall, were turned into flats, or sold to new companies or organisations to be used as something completely different. Only a few, such as Hooton Pagnell, remain private family homes today

Cusworth Hall was something of an unusual case. Although the owner survived the War, and the Hall remained a private home for several decades following the conflict, the future of the building became very uncertain following the death of Robert Cecil Battie-Wrightson in 1952. The contents of the Hall were sold at public auction, and options for the house varied from being used as a zoo to demolition. Doncaster District Rural Council purchased the Hall in 1961, and it opened as a museum in 1967.