‘Robin Hood’s a Doncaster lad - and we’ve proof’

Robin Hood was from Doncaster, claim Doncaster Museum bosses
Robin Hood was from Doncaster, claim Doncaster Museum bosses
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Robin Hood didn’t live in Sherwood Forest but was a Donny lad, reckon Doncaster Museum staff – and they want your support.

Robin Hood didn’t live in Sherwood Forest but was a Donny lad, reckon Doncaster Museum staff – and they want your support.

And officials at the borough’s museum are now asking people to give them their backing for the theory by voting in a poll.

They are claiming the public has been ‘hoodwinked’ about Robin Hood, and have launched a crusade to declare him as the son of the town.

Legend has always stated the leader of the Merry Men originated from Sherwood Forest – the stomping ground of his arch-enemy the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Historians at the Chequer Road site however say the earliest stories put his origins firmly in Barnsdale – on the border between South and West Yorkshire near Doncaster.

Now they have unveiled an exhibition exploring links to Robin to mark this year’s St Leger horse racing festival.

Carolyn Dalton, from Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, said: “It’s more than likely Robin Hood was a Yorkshireman.

“Robin Hood’s links to Yorkshire are far stronger historically, and the oldest and most detailed stories give details of the north Doncaster and Pontefract area.
I think over the years Yorkshire hasn’t made much of the connection.

“But in terms of where Robin and his men lived, history points to Barnsdale near Doncaster.”

Doncaster Council is inviting members of the public to support the claims in a visitors’ poll.

But it’s not the first time a custody battle between Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire has been fought.

In 2004, Doncaster was accused of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ when it named its airport after the legendary hero.

Experts argue Yorkshire boasts more points of historical reference than any other county, including the site where Robin’s remains are believed to be buried at Kirklees Priory, near Brighouse.

One of the earliest stories of the ‘good outlaw’, The Gest of Robin Hood, is set in Barnsdale Forest, just north of Doncaster, near Pontefract.

First written down in the 15th century, The Gest also mentions a church where Robin later marries Maid Marian, which is thought to be St Mary Magdalene at Campsall, in Doncaster.

According to one legend, Robin Hood tied the Bishop of Hereford to a tree in Barnsdale and robbed him. This was said to have taken place in Skelbrooke Park in

Doncaster, where a ‘Bishop’s tree’ still stands.

The forest is also home to Robin Hood’s Well.

But the only early ballad to mention Nottingham is ‘Robin Hood and the Monk’ and few mention the notorious Sheriff.

Medieval artefacts will be on display as part of the exhibition at Doncaster Museum, which opened this week, while the question of whether Doncaster can claim Robin will be decided in the visitors’ poll.

Ms Dalton, pictured, is also keen to set up a Robin Hood trail in the area. 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.”