Letter: Let's bring Robin Hood home to Sheffield with a statue in Loxley

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This letter was written by RJ Bramall from Greystones

Was Robin Hood a Yorkshireman? There has recently been quite a bit of press coverage about this following the publication of a new book by local authors - Dan Eaton and Dr David Clarke entitled ‘Returning Robin Hood:Folklore & South Yorkshire’s Infamous Outlaw’ and renewed interest in an earlier book (2019) by author Geoff Wilson ‘Robin Hood - The New Evidence’.

Of course there has been an outcry by people in Nottingham and the current Sheriff of Nottingham, Merlita Bryan, casts doubt on our local view.

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Around Sheffield it’s always been thought that Robin was born in the Loxley Valley to the west of Sheffield - in fact it’s always puzzled me why anybody would think he came from Nottingham!

Robin Hood pub sign in Loxley Valley.Robin Hood pub sign in Loxley Valley.
Robin Hood pub sign in Loxley Valley.

Around the time of King Richard and King John the main administrative and power centres of the North Midlands and Yorkshire were Nottingham, Lincoln and York and any outlaw would want to live hidden away as far as possible from them - ideally to the west where the river valleys, woods and wild moorlands of the Pennines make it difficult to be found - somewhere like the Loxley Valley.

Robin and his merry men would be able to make their forays out and no doubt would come into contact with the Sheriff of Nottingham but I’m sure that after a raid they’d beat a retreat as fast and as far possible away from the Sheriff’s men - back to the Loxley Valley.

Indeed the Acorn Woods in the Loxley Valley are thought to be the last remnant of the Sherwood Forest - the rest locally has long been burnt to make charcoal to fire the furnaces of Sheffield that came after Robin and the Sheriff had long passed into history.

There are plans afoot to put a statue of a Robin on the Loxley village green. Let’s get that statue built and bring Robin home.