He is known by every child, adult and elder as the heroic outlaw in English Folklore -Robin Hood who, stole from the rich to give to the poor. What a better time to share this destination series with you than the week of Thanksgiving? Join The Fairytale Traveler’s journey through the Sherwood Forest, Newark and into Nottingham to explore the legacy of Robin Hood and the places behind the legend.
The Robin Hood Legend (the short)
neither a knight nor a peasant or ‘husbonde’ but something in between”
As the story goes, Robin Hood was a skilled, savvy archer and swordsman who, along with his group of ‘Merry Men’ would rob from the rich to give to the poor. He was known to have done much of his thieving on the main path that runs through Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. It was in this forest where he and his Merry Men would hide out in what is known as the ‘Major Oak’. An early 15th century rhyme reads,
Robyn hode in scherewode stod.”
Various works allude to Robin Hood as far back as 1228 however, the earliest surviving document of his legend is the Ballad, “Robin Hood and the Monk“, which resides at Cambridge University and dates back to around 1450.
Since then, Robin Hood has become quite the celebrity in pop culture, beginning in the medieval period all the way into modern day.
Was Robin Hood really from Nottingham?
There is much debate over the actual accuracy of his trail. Arguments have been made that he was from Barnsdale in South Yorkshire. It is also documented that a man by the name of Robin Hood lived in Wakefield, Yorkshire in the 13th and 14th centuries. Robin Hood’s Well in Skellow, South Yorkshire, dates back to 1422 while, 16th century folklore places him in Loxley, Sheffield. Even Kirklees Priory in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, claims his grave as implicated in the 18th-century version of his death. It boasts a headstone to prove its authenticity, and can be visited by contacting the Calderdale Council Tourist Information Office.
The Robin Hood Trail in Nottinghamshire
Nottinghamshire, also known as ‘Robin Hood County’ is proud of its Robin Hood legacy and has claimed him as the symbol of their county in England. He is even marked on road signs leading you into the shire. Nottingham even has an official ‘Robin Hood’ mascot, and has built what is called, The Robin Hood Trail. This trail, starting from Nottingham Castle, goes 104 miles through Nottinghamshire, connecting some of the sites related to the Robin Hood legend. It ends in Edwinstowe where it is said that he married Maid Marian in the Church of St. Mary.
Robin Hood Lives
In 2010, the University of Nottingham began conducting research on more than 450 sandstone caves beneath Nottingham, caves that Robin Hood may have traveled through. Even after more than 700 years, our fascination with the famous outlaw in green continues to prevail. No matter where Robin Hood is from, or if he was ever even a real person, the Legend of Robin Hood lives through the ages. He will continue to live through his legacy in many places, tales and hopefully in our hearts.