Many people throughout the world have heard of Sherwood Forest and learned about the legend of Robin Hood, but did you know that most of the magical places associated with Robin and his outlaws can be found around Ollerton?
The 'Church in the Forest'-Edwinstowe
Hundreds of visitors flock each year to the attractive parish church of St Mary's at Edwinstowe where Robin Hood and Maid Marion were said to have married. If you look inside you can find decorative screens which commemorate the event. You can also find a sculpture of the pair outside the library. If you are coming from a distance you are advised to phone in advance to check that the church is open, although it is most days in summer on 01623 822430 - Parish Office.
The Major Oak - Robin's secret hiding place
'The Major Oak' can be found in Sherwood Forest Country Park. Tales passed down through the generations have said that the hole in its enormous split trunk provided a secret hiding place for Robin Hood and his merry men. Unfortunately the Major Oak is now fenced off as it was suffering greatly from the pressure of visitors' feet and supports have also been added over the years to prevent weak branches from collapsing.
At the Visitor Centre you will find more information about the tree and from there you will be able to visit it in the surrounding forest. Each August the Robin Hood Festival takes place and it is well worth a visit.
Visit the Natural Beauty page for location, opening hours and contact details.
Wellow - the unspoken secrets of the green
The idyllic village of Wellow has many connections with Robin Hood. According to the book 'Robin Hood and the Lords of Wellow' by Tony Molyneux-Smith, its unusually shaped village green holds more secrets than would appear at first glance. Although the green has changed over the centuries, as houses were built and the road to Eakring constructed, the book says that it is still possible to see that its original shape would have formed a perfect triangle - the shape of an arrow head - which points directly at the castle of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
King's Clipstone and the kidnap of peasants
It was in King's Clipstone that Robin Hood was said to have released hostage peasant families after the King imprisoned them. The remains of King John's Palace can be seen near the 'Dog and Duck' Inn. Learn more about King's Clipstone on the community's website.
Warsop - an old English meaning
The name 'Warsop' is said to have been derived from 'Waerg' meaning 'outlaw' and 'hop' meaning valley, which translates as 'home of the outlaw'. It was said that in Robin Hood's day, the villagers' doors were never locked as he was always welcome.
Robin Hood's Cave
Near Walesby Forest was the location of Robin Hood's cave; a place where it was said that he sheltered. However, despite being marked on the ordnance survey map, the visitor will not find anything there to mark Robin's visits.
Disappearing trees - The Parliament Oak and Robin Hood's Larder (The Shambles Tree)
On the A605 road from Mansfield to Ollerton, about two miles from Clipstone, the site of the Parliament Oak could once be found. Legend has it that this oak was so named because King Edward I held parliament here whilst searching for Robin.
Robin Hood's Larder
Robin Hood's larder was an ancient tree located in the Birklands that sadly blew down during the gales of the 1960's. This tree contained iron hooks reputed to have been used by Robin Hood to store venison, game birds and other animals. Other accounts suggest that it was used by the King at the time for the same purpose.
Not far from this area, there many other places connected with the legend of Robin Hood, such as Robin Hood's Seat (near Kirkby Golf Course), Robin Hood's Stable and The Foresters' Church (Papplewick), Friar Tuck's Well (Fountaindale), Will Scarlet's Grave (Blidworth) and, of course, Nottingham Castle, the home of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Some of these places are inaccessible to the public.
Do you want to know more?
If you want to delve deeper and discover more about the legend of Robin Hood, you may find the following interesting:
The Robin Hood Way
The Robin Hood Way opened in 1985 and takes the walker through many beautiful areas of Nottinghamshire associated with the folk hero. It is marked on ordnance survey maps and books about the trail can be bought from the Tourist Information Centre at Sherwood Heath as well as others throughout the County. A website, established by the Robin Hood Way Association, provides a great deal of information; for a small fee you can also become a member.
The World Wide Robin Hood Society
The website for this society includes information about the outlaw and has an online shop.
Robin Hood Productions
Robin Hood Productions, based at Bluewater Studios in Ollerton, have created some magical films about the legend of Robin Hood. Contact John Pearson for more details on 01623 825456.
The libraries in this area contain a treasure trove of fascinating books about Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest, many of which are now out of print. The nearest libraries are at Ollerton and Edwinstowe.
Bold Outlaw website
Canadian Allen W Wright is a Robin Hood enthusiast and has created an interesting website which explores the different theories behind the legend, as well as collecting news and views from people with an interest in Robin Hood from around the world. Visit www.boldoutlaw.com.