Sharing the Court Rolls
Throughout the duration of the project, Heritage Doncaster worked with partners to share the significance of the Conisbrough Court Rolls with the public.
Borough Archivist, Dr Charles Kelham, presented a talk on the project at a conference held by the National Archives in 2018. A selection of the rolls were also displayed publicly at Doncaster Mansion House during a heritage roadshow.
In May 2019, the court rolls were the focus of a day of activities at Doncaster Museum as part of the Doncaster Heritage Festival. The day’s events included a talk by Shirley Jones from West Yorkshire Archives Service who worked on the conservation of the rolls. Medieval music was performed by the Doncaster Waites group, and crime and punishment expert, John Brown, joined us to discuss medieval justice.
Paleaography workshops were held in 2019 and 2020 to assist participants in transcribing the court records.
A key outcome of the project was to engage younger audiences with the historical significance of the court rolls. In February 2020, we held a Discovery Day at Cusworth Hall to share the quirky crimes recorded in the medieval rolls. Activities included learning how to make a quill, handling real museum objects, trying on medieval-themed costumes, and writing your own court record.
We also partnered with Dexter Productions, who performed several short plays across the borough based on the crimes recorded in the court rolls.