Robin Hood didn’t live in Sherwood Forest – and was a Yorkshireman, historians have claimed.
Experts say the famous outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor was not from Nottinghamshire – but Doncaster or Pontefract.
Officials in Doncaster say the public has been ‘hoodwinked’ about Robin Hood and have launched a crusade to declare him as the son of the town.
Legend has stated the leader of the Merry Men originated from Sherwood Forest – the stomping ground of his arch-enemy the Sheriff of Nottingham.
But Yorkshire historians say the earliest stories put his origins firmly in Barnsdale – on the border between South and West Yorkshire near Doncaster.
Carolyn Dalton, from Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, said: “It’s more than likely that Robin Hood was a Yorkshireman.
“Robin Hood’s links to Yorkshire are far stronger historically, the oldest and most detailed stories give details of the north Doncaster and Pontefract area.
“In terms of where Robin and his men lived, history points to Barnsdale near Doncaster.”
Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery has unveiled an exhibition exploring its links to Robin to mark this year’s St Leger horse racing festival.
The town council is also inviting members of the public to support the claims in a visitors’ poll.
In 2004, Doncaster was accused of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ when it named its airport Robin Hood.
Coun Bob Johnson, Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for tourism, said: “Robin Hood’s links to Doncaster and the rest of Yorkshire are perhaps more convincing than Nottingham’s, so I’m hoping the exhibition will be interesting and thought-provoking.”