Inside Doncaster’s ‘most exclusive’ and ‘snobby’ estate where a life of luxury comes at a price

The driveways are long and gated and the houses are big – so big, that some of them have their own roundabouts

Not far to the south west of Doncaster city centre, you can find a network of leafy streets, lined with gated driveways and imposing houses.

One of these is Whin Hill Road, thought to be one of the most expensive streets in Doncaster when considering average house prices. Its neighbouring streets, such as St Wilfrid’s Road, St Eden’s Road and Bawtry Road, look no less fancy.

It’s a neighbourhood where many of the houses have names, such as ‘Tall Chimneys’ and ‘The Mandeville’. Long driveways stretch up to big, detached houses with perfectly maintained gardens.

It’s quiet in terms of people, but there’s a fairly constant roar of construction from multiple houses having building and gardening work done.

“It’s always quite loud here in terms of construction,” a Whin Hill Road resident, who didn’t want to be named, told me. “People are always adding bits to their houses or getting their gardens done and some of it goes on for years. And a lot of traffic uses this as a through road.

“We used to call it the Cantley Crawl when we were younger but people round her wouldn’t like that name. There’s snobbery around here I suppose – some of the residents would consider it more upmarket than the Cantley area even though Cantley Lane is just metres away.”

The resident, who is in her 50s, remembered visiting her grandad on the street as a child, and ended up inheriting the house. She’s been here over 40 years, and waved hello to another resident as we spoke.

She added: “It probably is one of the most expensive streets in Doncaster. Since I inherited the house, I’m only rich in property – I couldn’t afford to buy here. Sometimes I’m very aware there’s more money on this street than I will ever know.

“I think it changed over lockdown you know – we all have quite long driveways so you didn’t see people so much and talked to who you already talked to. But in lockdown everyone was coming out on the street to clap so you’d get chatting to more people, which was nice.”

She pointed out a particular house she recommended I go have a look at – and she wasn’t the only one.

Nearby resident Scarlett was out for a walk on Whin Hill Road when I spoke to her. She told me: “I live round here but not on one of these streets. It’s very green round here but it is always noisy with building work. You do get the impression it’s a rich area but people are generally friendly though. There’s a house up there at the end with its own roundabout!”

The house in question is called White Ladies, and did indeed have its own little roundabout in the middle of the large driveway. There seemed to still be the finishing touches going on to the house.

Alan, 87, was also out for a walk down Whin Hill Road – he lives on one of the smaller streets nearby rather than Whin Hill itself, and has been in the area for 26 years.

“This is an expensive place,” he agreed. “This is where the money is. When I was younger I used to cycle past to look at all the big houses. I grew up in a terrace in Balby but you always have ambitions don’t you? I go out for a walk here at least twice a day and I’ll chat to anybody – people are still really friendly and come out of their gardens to talk.

“It’s quite peaceful round here and green but we do have burglaries because of the money here. I do think there have been some drugs around in the past as well.”

Alan wasn’t the only person to bring up the burglary problem – another resident on St Wilfrid’s Road told me there had been one round the corner just the previous week, that had left some residents quite shaken.

“There can be a lot of crime round here,” he said. “There was an aggravated burglary just the other week, and people get their cars stolen. And I do think there has also been drugs in the area – police have been round all the houses before asking for CCTV. I’ve just got a camera installed because of it.

“I did all the remodelling and modernising on my house myself as I worked in building all my life – sometimes I feel like a fish out of water here because of all the money. One of my friends did work for another guy who lived on this road and he said there were galleries and everything inside. Some of the residents aren’t very friendly, but that doesn’t bother me. Some people are nice and it’s usually quiet.

“But there have been some unsavoury characters before.”

According to the 2019 Indices of Multiple Deprivation, the area is one of the least deprived neighbourhoods in Doncaster. According to Crime Rate, Bessacarr Bawtry Road is one of Doncaster’s safest neighbourhoods – despite the burglary fears reported by residents.

And finally, Sheila, who lives just off Bawtry Road, was out walking her daughter’s dogs along St Wilfrid’s Road when I caught up with her.

She told me: “I’m from the midlands, and we came up here 36 years ago, and I wouldn’t go back. People are friendly in my experience. But we did recently hear about a horrible burglary round here that frightened me a bit. You do get the feeling it’s a rich neighbourhood – there’s a lot of nice houses to be seen.”

By

Jasmine NordenReporter
  • 05:00, 30 JUL 2022

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