Robin Hood Place Names

The following Robin Hood place-names are only a selection of a vast amount. This list focuses on names in England that appear in Ordnance Survey maps, and are arranged in alphabetical order. Many seem to have originated after 1800, and of the others, the majority are first recorded in maps of the late eighteenth century.  Many English place-names also begin with the prefix ‘Robin’ such as the Robinswoods and Robinsgroves in Surrey and Essex. Like the legend itself, Robin Hood place-names are not confined to England, they were undoubtedly exported to many other parts of the world by English colonists, particularly to Australia and the U.S.A. It is surprising, given the popularity of the legend north of the border, that Robin Hood place-names are infrequent in Scotland. There is a concentration of names in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, which shows us that the legend has kept its local associations for many years. There is a Robin Hod Hostel mentioned in a subsidy roll of 1292(1) and a Robin Oed’s Bay in correspondence of the 14th century(2).

‘Also another wood called Robynhill’ (Item alius boscus vocatus Robynhill) within the bounds of Kygell in Sherwood Forest, appears in a memorandum from the chartulary of the priory of Newstead, formerly in the possession of Sir John Byron, K.B., first lord Byron of Rochdale – printed in William Dugdale’s Monasticon. The priory of Newstead was founded by King Henry II. Some sources give the date of foundation as 1170, but several accounts suggest the 1160s. It is thought that ‘Robynhill’ could be the area now known as Robin Hood’s Hills, but there is also a Robin Hood Hill (see below; Nottinghamshire). Robin Hood’s Hills in Sherwood Forest, is near other Robin Hood place names and Annesley Castle. See, A. Hamilton Thompson, ‘The Priory of St. Mary of Newstead in Sherwood Forest with some notes on houses of Regular Canons,’ Transactions of the Thoroton Society, 23 (1919); ‘Southwell & Nottingham Church History Project’ Newstead Abbey, St Mary, The Church of England and the University of Nottingham (online); Michael Evans, ‘Robynhill, or Robin Hood’s Hills? Place-Names and the Evolution of the Robin Hood Legends’, Journal and Seventy-Fifth Annual Report of the English Place-Name Society, vol. 30 (1998), pp. 43–51.

1.  Subsidy Roll 1292 Vintry ward London, Warda Johannis de Gysorz, Vintry ward. (Centre for Metropolitian History Publication, 1951). The hostel of Robin Hod is mentioned under Vi 51. It is believed that the hostel was named after Robert Hod, a councellor of London in 1297-8, who appears to have died in 1318. There is also a record of a  Katherine Robynhod in London in 1325, (the surname was almost certainly a patronymic) she was possibly his daughter. (Robin Hood, J. C. Holt, p., 52, 1982).

2.  ‘Robin Oed’s Bay’ is mentioned in correspondence from the years 1324 to 1346, between the Count of Flanders and King Edward (Ancient Correspondence of the Chancery and the Exchequer, National Archives, SC1/33/202). The record was discovered by Robert Lynley. This place later became known as ‘Robin Hood’s Bay’ (see below; Yorkshire, North Riding, Robin Hood’s Bay).


LITTLE JOHN’S FARM    One mile N.W. of Reading

ROBIN HOOD’S ARBOUR    A square prehistoric earthwork near Maidenhead Thicket, already called ‘Robin Hood’s Bower’ in the late seventeenth century; this led Thomas Hearne to suggest that the outlaw frequented the Chiltern Hills.


THE ROBIN HOOD    An inn two miles N.W. of Buckingham.


ROBIN HOOD FIELD    Five miles S.W. of Runcorn. A field-name within the parish of Helsby.


ROBIN HOOD BUTTES    Farlam, two miles S.E. of Brampton. A field-name near Eskdale Wood, Farnlam. The mention of ‘Robin Hood buttes’ occurs as early as 1598.

ROBIN HOOD’S CHAIR    Ennerdale Water.


LITTLE JOHN’S GRAVE    Hathersage churchyard. The supposed grave of Little John, nearly 14 feet long with a relatively modern headstone, lies opposite Hathersage parish church. According to local tradition, Captain John Shuttleworth had the grave opened in 1798 and a thigh-bone of 32 inches in length was discovered. A cottage to the east of the church, now vanished, was believed to be the place where Little John died. These legends appear to have originated by the 1650s.

LITTLE JOHN’S WELL    Two and a half miles S.E. of Hathersage. A well near Longshaw Lodge, associated with a Robin Hood’s Well (see below) less than half a mile away.

ROBIN HOOD    Six miles W. of Chesterfield. A small hamlet immediately N.E. of Chatswood Park. It possibly derives its name from a Robin Hood Inn, which is marked on the 1840 Ordnance Survey Map of the area.

ROBIN HOOD’S CAVE    One and a half miles N. of Hathersage. A cave, among the crags of Stanage Edge north of Hathersage.

ROBIN HOOD’S CHAIR    Hope Dale. ‘a rude natural rock in Hope Dale is his (Robin Hood’s) chair’, mentioned by F.J. Child, III, 47.

ROBIN HOOD’S CROFT    Four miles N.W. of Hathersage. An old sheep shelter and field under Lead Hill (Mitchell, Haunts of Robin Hood, p. 67).

ROBIN HOOD CROSS    Three miles W. of Hathersage. A medieval wayside cross on the moors on mile E. of Bradwell in Hazlebadge parish. The base of the cross still survives; it occurs as ‘Robin Crosse’ in 1319, and ‘The Robin Crosse’ in 1640.

ROBIN HOOD INN    Six miles S.E. of Hathersage. An inn in Holmesfield parish, possibly derived from the ‘Robin Hood’ mentioned in an 1820 Enclosure Award.

ROBIN HOOD’S LEAP    Chatsworth. A chasm on the Chatworth Estate, mentioned by F.J. Child, III, 47.

ROBIN HOOD’S MOSS    Eleven miles N.W. of Sheffield. Moorland overlooking the Derwent Dams in the High Peak. (Mitchell, Haunts of Robin Hood, p. 68).

ROBIN HOOD’S PICKING RODS    Two and an half miles S.W. of Glossop. Two stone pillars in a stone socket on Ludworth Moor: in the 1842 Ordnance Survey Map.

ROBIN HOOD’S STOOP    One and a half miles S.W. of Hathersage. An old boundary stone on Offerton Moor. Supposedly the place from which Robin Hood shot an arrow into Hathersage churchyard, over 2,000 yards away. (the similar tradition at Whitby, N. Yorkshire)

ROBIN HOOD’S STRIDE    Three miles S. of Bakewell. A group of broken gritstone rocks on Hartle Moor; the distance between two of the rocks was supposedly the length of Robin Hood’s stride or step. The name appears in an 1819 Enclosure Award.

ROBIN HOOD’S TABLE    Six miles N.W. of Chesterfield. Two slabs of gritstone among the moors north of Chatsworth.

ROBIN HOOD’S WELL    Two and a half miles S.E. of Hathersage. A well near Longshaw Lodge, not far from Little John’s well (see above). The name occurs as early as 1809.


ROBINHOOD END    Two miles N.E. of Finchingfield. A small hamlet in the parish of Finchingfield, N. Essex. It appears in an unpublished deed as “Robyne Hoods End’ as early as 1699.

ROBIN HOOD END FARM    Two and a half miles N.E. of Finchingfield. Half a mile north of Robinhood End, in the parish of Stambourne. It appears as ‘Robinhood Farm’ in a 1777 map of Essex.

ROBIN HOOD INN    One mile W. of Loughton. An inn at a crossroad in Epping Forest.


ROBIN’S WOOD HILL    One mile S.E. of Gloucester. A hill with a beacon in the parish of Matson, overlooking Gloucester. It appears as ‘Robinhoodes Hill’ in 1624, ‘Robins-wood’ in 1777, and Robin-Hood’s hill’ in 1779. The name may have originally had some connection to the family of Robins, tenants of the manor in the sixteenth century, but later changed to Robin Hood by popular etymology.


ROBIN HOOD’S BARROW    Bournemouth. A tumulus in Talbot Woods to the north of Meyrick Park.


ROBIN HOOD’S BUTTS    Three miles E. of Weobley. Two round-topped natural hills.


ROBIN HOOD HOUSE    Three miles N. of Berkhamsted. Formerly the village inn, the ‘Robin Hood’, of Little Gaddesden.


THE ROBIN HOOD or ROBIN HOOD AND LITTLE JOHN    Three miles S. of Rochester. An inn on the edge of Buckmore Park, not far from the Rochester-Maidstone road.


ROBIN HOOD    Five miles N.W. of Wigan. A hamlet at a crossroads one mile S. of Wrightington.

ROBIN HOOD’S BED    Five miles N.E. of Rochdale. A name applied to whole or part of the prominent ridge of Blackstone Edge in the Pennines.

ROBIN HOOD’S CROSS    Seven miles N.W. of Wigan. A cross near the village of Mawdesley, possibly associated with the hamlet of Robin Hood less than two miles away.

ROBIN HOOD’S HOUSE    Five miles E. of Burnley. A ruined farm on the edge of Widdop Moor.


LITTLE JOHN    Six miles N.W. of Leicester. A small hill in the southern part of Charnwood Forest.

LITTLE JOHN’S STONE    Leicester. ‘ Near the Abbey, Leicester, stands an upright ponderous forest stone, which goes by the name of Little John’s Stone; but for what reason none can tell’ (Thoroton’s History of Nottinghamshire, ed. J. Throsby, 1797, II, 170).


Only two of the oldest names in Bartholomew’s Reference Atlas of Greater London (13th edition, 1968) are recorded here:

ROBIN HOOD LANE    London. A street name in Poplar, which appears as ‘Robin Hood’s Lane’ in J. Gascoyne’s 1703 Map of the Parish of Stepney.

ROBIN HOOD YARD    London. A small lane off Leather Lane immediately N. of Holborn.

ROBIN HOOD NAMES IN THE CITY OF LONDON THAT ARE NOW LOST, listed in H.A. Harben, A Dictionary of London (1918), p 505:

ROBIN HOOD COURT    Cordwainer Ward. A court running west out of Bow Lane, but destroyed during the construction of Queen Victoria Street. Recorded as early as 1677, and known as ‘Robin Wood’s Court’ in 1746.

ROBIN HOOD COURT    Cripplegate Ward Without. One of two small courts running west out of Milton Street in 1677, it was converted into Haberdashers Square shortly before 1720.

ROBIN HOOD COURT    Cheap Ward and Cripplegate Ward Within. A court running east out of Milk Street, and first known by that name in 1810, but earlier recorded as ‘Robinson’s Court’ (1677) and ‘Robinhood Alley’ (1720-99).

ROBIN HOOD COURT    Farringdon Ward Within. A court running west out of Shoe Lane, first recorded in 1677, known as ‘Robin-wood’s Court’ in 1746.

ROBIN HOOD COURT    Queenhithe Ward. A court running south of Thames Street, recorded from 1677 to 1799, later destroyed to make Trig Wharf.


ROBIN FRIEND    One mile N. of Sheringham. Flat rocks off the Norfolk coast which may have been associated with the Robin Hood legend.


ROBIN HOOD AND LITTLE JOHN    Three miles W. of Peterborough. The names of two stones in Castor Field near Gunwade Ferry, now covered with thorn-bushes. According to Morton, The Natural History of Northamptonshire (1712), p. 551, ‘Erroneous tradition has given them out to be Two Draughts of Arrows from Alwalton Church-Yard thither, the one of Robin Hood, and the other of Little John’.


ROBIN HOOD’S BOG    One mile E. of Chillingham. A bog in the woods on the eastern edge of Chillingham Park.

ROBIN HOOD’S ROCK    Three and a half miles N.of Dunstanburgh. A small rock formed by a whin point five hundred yards off the Northumberland coast. Usually called Robin Wood’s Rock, ‘Wood’ is a common seventeenth or eighteenth-century alternative for ‘Hood’: J. A. Steers, The Coastline of England and Wales (Cambridge, 1946), p. 454.


The town most closely associated with Robin Hood from the fifteenth century onwards, with many memorials to him, such as: the modern Maid Marian Way, the frescoes in the cupola of the Council House (1927-9) and the statues on Castle Green sculpted by James Woodford and unveiled in 1949. Of the many Robin Hood place-names in Nottingham, the oldest (all now disused) appear to be:

ROBIN HOOD’S ACRE   Mentioned in 1624-5: Records of the Borough of Nottingham, ed. W. H. Stevenson (5 vols., Nottingham, 1882-1900), IV, 441.

ROBIN HOOD’S CLOSE   A pasture described as ‘Robynhode Closse’ occurs in the Nottingham civic Chamberlains accounts for 1485,1486 and 1500 (Records of Nottingham, III, 64, 230, 254; cf. P.N.S. Nottinghamshire, p. 294).

ROBIN HOOD’S WELL, alias ST. ANNE’S WELL   A ‘Robynhode Well’ near Nottingham is mentioned in a presentment at the civic sessions of 20 July 1500, and is presumably identical with the ‘Robyn Wood’s Well’ recorded in 1548 (First Report of Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, 1874, p.105;  Records of Nottingham, III, 74; IV, 441). This well was also known as St Anne’s Well as early as the sixteenth century, as there are references to a ‘Seynt Anne Well’ in 1551, and a ‘Robyn Hood Well alias Saynt Anne Well’ in 1596 (P.N.S. Nottinghamshire, p. 20). Situated at the foot of a hill two miles N.E. of the centre of the town, this well was to become one of the most famous of all places associated with the Robin Hood legend; it was visited by a great number of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century travellers who were shown the outlaw’s supposed chair, bow, arrows, cap and slipper: references in Ritson, 1846, p. 32;  Gutch, I, 66; and Thoroton’s History of Nottinghamshire, ed. J. Throsby (1797), II, 170 (with illustrations).


The following names all appear to be in relatively modern maps and documents:

CLIPSTONE, ARCHWAY LODGE    Four miles N.E. of Mansfield. Built in 1842-4 by the fourth Duke of Portland to imitate the gateway of Worksop Priory. It is decorated with statuary of Robin Hood, Little John, Friar Tuck, Maid Marian, Allen a Dale and Richard I (illustrated in Mitchell, Haunts of Robin Hood, p.39;  cf. N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Nottinghamshire (1951), p. 52).

FOUNTAIN DALE    Three miles S.E. of Mansfield. Since the early nineteenth century this wooded area, one of the few areas of Sherwood Forest to survive, has come to be identified with the ‘Fountains Dale’ which the Curtal Friar of the ballad kept ‘Seven long years or more’; however the ballad of Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar seems to confuses the site with that of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire; in any case, Fountain Dale is apparently not recorded as a place-name until C. and J. Greenwood’s 1826 Map of the County of Nottingham (P.N.S. Nottinghamshire, p. 116).

FRIAR TUCK’S WELL    Three miles S.E. of Mansfield. A well situated on the east of Fountain Dale.

(PAPPLEWICK)    Seven miles N. of Nottingham. Supposedly the church in which Allen a Dale was married with the assistance of Robin Hood. There can be little doubt, that this tradition originates from the appearance of the witch of Papplewick in Ben Jonson’s The Sad Shepherd (1641).

ROBIN HOOD’S CAVE    Two miles N.of Ollerton. A cave near the river Maun in Walesby parish. The name appears in an Ordnance Survey Map of c.1825 (P.N.S. Nottinghamshire, p. 64).

ROBIN HOOD’S CAVE    Four miles S.W. of Mansfield. A cave at the foot of Robin Hood’s Hills in Sherwood Forest (see below).

ROBIN HOOD FARM    Six miles N. of Nottingham. A farm towards the southern boundary of old Sherwood Forest. It appears as ‘Robin Hood’s Farm’ in C. and J. Greenwood’s 1826 Map of the County of Nottingham, and was apparently associated with a ‘Robin Hood Bank’ of a c. 1840 Tithe Award (P.N.S. Nottinghamshire, p. 78).

ROBIN HOOD’S GRAVE    Seven miles N. of Mansfield. Appears to be a cave in Holbeck parish. Appears as ‘Robins Grave’ in a Tithe Award of c.1840 (P.N.S.Nottinghamshire, p. 84).

ROBIN HOOD HILL    Four miles W. of Southwell. A tumulus one mile N. of the village of Oxton. Apparently the ‘Robin Hood Pit’ which appears in an Ordnance Survey Map of c.1825 (P.N.S. Nottinghamshire, p. 173).

ROBIN HOOD’S HILLS    Four miles S.W. of Mansfield. A group of small hills forming a natural amphitheatre in Sherwood Forest, closely associated with a neighbouring Robin Hood’s Chair and Cave (see above). The name is recorded in Chapman and Andre’s 1775 Map of Nottinghamshire (P.N.S. Nottinghamshire, p. 122).

ROBIN HOOD’S LARDER    Three miles W. of Ollerton. A large tree, in a part of Sherwood Forest called Birklands, where Robin Hood was supposed to have hung venison on wooden hooks. This gave the tree its alternative name of ‘The Shambles’. Robin Hood’s Larder collapsed in the late 1950s. A more famous tree, the Major Oak, lies a mile to the east and has also been associated with the outlaw legend (Mitchell, Haunts of Robin Hood, p. 35).

ROBIN HOOD’S MEADOW    Two miles N. of Ollerton. A field-name in the vicinity of Perlethorpe, mentioned in Field, English Field-Names, p. 183.

ROBIN HOOD’S STABLE    Seven miles N. of Nottingham. A cave cut into sandstone one mile N. of Papplewick.

ROBIN HOOD’S WELL    Seven miles N.W. of Nottingham. A well in High Park Wood to the immediate north of Beauvale Priory and in Greasley parish.

(SHERWOOD FOREST)    N. of Nottingham. The most famous of all medieval English forests, extending due north of Nottingham towards Worksop. The name (as Sciryuda) appears as early as 958 (Early Yorkshire Charters, ed. W. Farrer, I, 1914, p.11).

(THORESBY)    Three miles N.W. of Ollerton. The mansion was rebuilt in 1864-75, it has a statue of Robin Hood in the forecourt, and also an elaborate wooden fireplace with Victorian carvings of Robin Hood and Little John in the Library.


ROBIN HOOD’S BUTTS    Two miles N.W. of Church Stretton. A group of tumuli on the edge of the Long Mynd.


ROBIN HOOD’S BUTTS    Six miles S. of Taunton. Three long barrows near Otterford and close to the Chard and Wellington road.

ROBIN HOOD’S BUTTS    Seven miles S. of Taunton. Another group of five long barrows on Brown Down, a mile S. of those listed above.


ROBIN HOOD’S BUTTS    Three miles N. of Godalming. Two hills, now known as Budburrow and Rowbury Hills, to the N.E. of the village of Compton. They were called ‘Robin Hood’s Butts’ by Aubrey in 1673 and Coxe c. 1726.


The Robin Hood legend’s association with Richmond Park may date from  the patronage of the outlaw’s role by Henry VIII in the early sixteenth-century May Games there. The following selection of names is in probable chronological order.

ROBINHOOD WALK    Inside Richmond Park. Occurs as ‘Robynhood Walke’ in the reign of Henry VIII, and as ‘Robyn-hodes walke’ in 1548.

ROBINHOOD GATE    Into Richmond Park. The S.E. gate into Richmond Park, at the northern end of Kingston Vale. In John Cary, A New Map of Surrey(1785). ROBINHOOD FARM appears in the vicinity.

ROBIN HOOD    Two miles N.E. of Kingston-on-Thames. An ecclesiastical district outside Richmond Park in the parishes of Coombe and North Ham.

ROBIN HOOD WAY    Two miles N.E. of Kingston-on-Thames. The name given to the section of the Kingston Bypass immediately W. of Wimbledon Common.


ROBINHOODS FARM    Ten miles S. of Birmingham. A Farm near Tanworth in the hundred of Kineton (1830 Ordnance Survey Map).

(LOXLEY)    Three miles S.E. of Stratford-on-Avon. A village claimed to be the birth-place of Robin Hood by J. R. Planche, A Ramble With Robin Hood. Planche expanded on Stukeley’s attempt to make Robin Hood a descendant of the Fitzooths; and associated Robin Hood with Robert Fitzodo, lord of the manor of Loxley in the late twelfth century. There is a Loxley in W. Yorkshire (see below).


ROBIN HOOD    Six miles S.W.of Shap. A hill on the Shap Fells, which appears on the 1865 Ordnance Survey Map. It appears as ‘Robin Hood’s Wood’ in the 1859 Ordnance survey Map.

ROBIN HOOD’S GRAVE    Two and a half miles S. of Crosby Ravensworth. A cairn on Crosby Ravensworth Fell, in the 1859 Ordnance Survey Map.

ROBIN HOOD ISLAND    Three miles S.W. of Kendal. Occurs in a rental of 1836.

ROBIN HOOD’S WOOD    Three miles S.W. of Kendal. Occurs, within Helsington chapelry, on the 1857 Ordnance Survey Map.


ROBIN HOOD BALL    Twelve miles S. of Marlborough. A Neolithic tumulus at Netheravon in Elstub Hundred, possibly used as a boundary mark. Appears as ‘Robin Wood Ball’ (sic) in J. Andrews and A. Dury, A Topographical Map of Wiltshire of 1773.

ROBIN HOOD’S BOWER    Two miles S. of Warminster. A circular earthwork in Southleigh Wood just S. of Warminster.


ROBIN HOOD TOWER    York City Walls. The northern angle tower of the city wall, recorded in 1622 and 1629. The tower was called Bawing Tower in 1370 and Frost Tower in 1485.


ROBIN HOOD    One mile N. of Catterick Bridge. A small hamlet along the course of the old Great North Road or Roman Dere Street.

ROBIN HOOD’S BAY    Twelve miles N. of Scarborough. A fishing village on the north side of the bay of the same name. One of the oldest and most intriguing of all Robin Hood place-names, in use by at least the early sixteenth century: see ‘Robyn Hoodis Baye’ in 1544, Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, XIX, i, p. 224; Leland’s Itinerary, Toulmin Smith, I, 51; G. Young, History of Whitby, 1817, II, 647. The suggestion that the name was taken from a tumulus called ‘Robbed Howe’ near the neighbouring village of Sneaton is probably unlikely (V.C.H. Yorkshire, North Riding, II, 534). A place-name associated, but probably long after its formation, with the Robin Hood ballad of The Noble Fisherman. This place was named ‘Robin Oed’s Bay’ in letters of correspondence between the Count of Flanders and King Edward from the years 1324 to 1346. The origins of the name are unknown. (see notes at the top)

ROBIN HOOD’S BUTTS    Two miles N. of Danby. Three tumuli on Danby Low Moor and others further north of Gerrick Moor towards Skelton.

ROBIN HOOD’S BUTTS    Six miles W. of Barnard Castle.

ROBIN HOOD’S BUTTS    Two miles S. of Robin Hood’s Bay. Three tumuli, about a mile from the sea and 775 feet above sea-level, south of a beacon at Stoupe Brow. They probably derive their name from Robin Hood’s Bay which they overlook. See Teesdale’s 1828 Map of Yorkshire;Young, History of  Whitby, II, 647.

ROBIN HOOD’S HOWL    One mile W. of Kirkbymoorside. Appears to be a hole or hollow on the southern escarpment of the North Yorkshire Moors: Ekwall, Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names, 1960 edn., p. 254.

ROBIN HOOD AND LITTLE JOHN INN    Castleton. Now probably the most famous of all inns named after Robin Hood. The building itself can be dated to 1671 on the evidence of the inscription on the lintel over the door; but no precise date can be given for the origins of the myth (still prevalent in Castleton) that Robin Hood and Little John met here for the last time.

ROBIN HOOD’S TOWER    Richmond Castle. An eleventh-century tower projecting from the curtain wall of Richmond Castle; probably named only after the fifteenth century.

ROBIN   HOOD’S   WELL    Three miles S.W. of Wensley. A well at the source of a hill stream on Melmerby Moor south of Wensleydale.

WHITBY:   ROBIN HOOD’S CLOSE AND LITTLE JOHN’S CLOSE    Two adjacent fields immediately W. of Whitby Laithes, recorded as such in a land conveyance of 1713 (Young,History of Whitby, II, 647). They owed their names to two monoliths, one 4′ and the other 2½’ high, which stood at the side of the two fields, to the north of the lane that leads from Whitby Laithes to Stainsacre. These stones (a ‘Robin Hood’s Stone’ occurs as early as 1540: Cartularium Abbathiae de Whiteby, II, 727) traditionally mark the points at which arrows shot by Robin Hood and Little John from the top of  Whitby Abbey reached the ground : see L. Charlton, History of Whitby and Whitby Abbey (York, 1779), pp. 146-7; C. Platt, The Monastic Grange in Medieval England, 1969, p. 244; V.C.H. Yorkshire, North Riding, II, 506.

YORKSHIRE, WEST RIDING (incorporating South Yorkshire) 

BARNSDALE    North of Doncaster (see Barnsdale and Sherwood) ‘the wooddi and famose forest of Barnesdale, wher they say Robyn Hudde lyvid like an owtlaw’ (Leland’s Itinerary, ed. Toulmin Smith, IV, 13). An area of approximately four to five miles from both north to south and east to west between the river Went and the villages of Skelbrooke and Hampole, six miles north of Doncaster. Places in Barnsdale closely associated with the Robin Hood legend are :

(a) BARNSDALE BAR   The place where the Great North Road forked into two branches, one leading through Pontefract and Wetherby to the extreme north, the other through Sherburn-in-Elmet to York.

(b) BISHOP’S TREE   The site of the tree by the side of the Great North Road where Robin Hood, according to tradition, intercepted the Bishop of Hereford. (Child 144).

(c) ROBIN HOOD’S WELL    see below.

(d) SAYLES PLANTATION   The site of ‘the Saylis’, S.E. of the modern Wentbridge Viaduct, to which Little John is commanded to ‘walke up’ by Robin Hood at the beginning of the Gest.

(e) WENTBRIDGE   The village at the bridge over the river Went mentioned in Robin Hood and the Potter.

LITTLE JOHN’S WELL    One mile N.W. of Hampole. A stone well beside the Doncaster-Wakefield Road to the west of Barnsdale. It appears as ‘Little John’s Cave and Well’ in an 1838 Tithe Award, and as ‘Little John’s Well’ on the 1840 Ordnance Survey Map (P.N.S. West Yorkshire, II, 44). It is incised with Little John’s name (see photograph in Mitchell, Haunts of Robin Hood, p. 4).

LOXLEY    Three  miles N.W. of Sheffield. This Loxley is mentioned by Joseph Hunter: ‘the fairest pretensions to be the Locksley of our ballads, where was born the redoubtable Robin Hood. The remains of a house in which it was pretended he was born were formerly pointed out in a small wood (Bar Wood) . . . and a well near called Robin Hood’s Well’ ( Hallamshire,London, 1819, p. 3).

ROBIN HOOD    Four miles S.E. of Leeds. This village is now skirted by the northern section of the M.I Motorway. It appears on the 1841 Ordnance Survey Map.

ROBIN HOOD’S BOWER AND MOSS    Four miles N. of Sheffield. The precise site of this place-name is apparently lost. It appears as ‘Robin Hood’s Bower, Bower Wood’ near Ecclesfield in 1637.

ROBIN HOOD’S GRAVE, KIRKLEES    Four miles N.E. of Huddersfield (see Robin Hood’s Grave). The most enigmatic of all the places associated with Robin Hood. His supposed grave lies in a secluded part of the Kirklees Estate, 650 yards S.W. of the ruins of the Cistercian nunnery, where according to legend, the outlaw is supposed to have met his death. ROBIN HOOD’S COTTAGE is in the vicinity.

ROBIN HOOD HILL AND HOUSE    One and a half miles S. of Huddersfield. A hill and house at Berry Brow near Almondbury, S. of Huddersfield. The local railway tunnel is called ‘Robin Hood Tunnel’.

ROBIN HOOD HILL    Two miles N. of Wakefield. A hill immediately W. of the village of Outwood. It appears as ‘Robinhoodstreteclose’ in an unpublished Wakefield Court Roll of 1650 and as ‘Robbin Hood hill’ in 1657: Robin Hood House and Robin Hood Bridge are in the vicinity.

ROBIN HOOD’S PARK    Four miles S.W. of Ripon. A name presumably applied to part of an estate near Fountains Abbey.

ROBIN HOOD’S PENNY STONE    Five miles N.W. of Halifax. A rocking-stone on Midgley Moor in the Pennines, immediately N.W. of Midgley. It appears in J. Watson’s History and Antiquities of the parish of Halifax (London, 1775), p. 27.

ROBIN HOOD’S PENNY STONE    Two miles W. of Halifax.

ROBIN HOOD’S STONE    Four miles S.E. of Skipton. A stone near Silsden, S.E. of Skipton. It appears in an 1846 Tithe Award.

ROBIN HOOD’S WELL    Six miles N. of Doncaster. On the eastern side of the Great North Road, this well is in the middle of Barnsdale, and historically is probably the most significant of all the Robin Hood place-names. It appears to be near the site of a ‘stone of Robin Hood’ which was recorded in a Monkbretton charter of 1422. It is mentioned as ‘Robbinhood-well’ by Roger Dodsworth. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was one of the most famous halting-places on the Great North Road. The well-house, in the shape of a ‘rustic dome’ was designed by Vanbrough for the Earl of Carlisle in the early eighteenth century, it survives near its original location.(see Dobson and Taylor, pp. 18-19; also Mitchell, Haunts of Robin Hood, pp. 25-6).

ROBIN HOOD’S WELL    One and a half miles N. of Threshfield. A well near the road between Threshfield and Kilnsey in Wharfedale. It has been recorded as ‘Robin Hood’s Beck and Well’.

ROBIN HOOD’S WELL    One and half miles N. of Halton Gill. A well high on the Yorkshire Pennines north of Pen-y-ghent.

ROBIN HOOD’S WELL (AND WOOD) Fountains Abbey. This well is associated with Friar Tuck’s battle with, and ducking of, Robin Hood (see the ballad of Robin Hood and the Curtal Friar). It appears as ‘Robin Hood Wood’ in a Vyner land deed of 1734.

ROBIN HOOD WELL    Five miles N.W. of Sheffield. A well in Low Hall Wood, N.W. of Ecclesfield. It appears as ‘Robin Hood’s Well’ in 1773. It is possibly associated with ‘Robin Hood’s Bower and Moss’ (see above)

ROBIN HOOD WELL    Two miles W. of Haworth. Near the village of Stanbury in the Pennines.

This page contains information found in Rymes of Robyn Hood, Dobson and Taylor, pp. 293-311.