Robin Hood's Scar (Southowram)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Coordinate 53.696904, -1.831124
Adm. div. West Riding of Yorkshire
Vicinity Elland Park Wood, Southowram, West Riding of Yorkshire
Type Natural feature
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1788
Loading map...
Robin Hood's Scar.
Strollers in Elland Park Wood, early 1900's postcard / Scanned by David Greaves for Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion.
The fungus boletus stipitatus or 'woolly boletus', which James Bolton found growing on Robin Hood's Scar.
Elland Park Wood in the background, from across the Calder (photograph: Humphrey Bolton)

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-07-30. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.

Robin Hood's Scar (or Robin Hood Scar) was situated at the top of Elland Park Wood, a wooded slope by the Calder in Southowram. It was evidently an area of exposed rock that stood out in an otherwise densely wooded area. This place-name has not, to my knowledge, been noted in previous studies. It is first mentioned in James Bolton's classic 1788 work on fungi in the Halifax area,[1] which in turn is cited in a few other works on fungi. In 1797 appeared a German translation of Bolton's work,[2] which together with translations of the works of Shakespeare is very likely among the earliest works in German to mention the name Robin Hood. However, apart from works on fungi, the only later source currently known to mention Robin Hood's Scar is an article on Halifax place-names from 1902,[3] from which I think a reader with first hand knowledge of Elland Park Wood may well be able to determine exactly to which natural feature or area the name referred.


1788 - Bolton, James - History of Fungusses growing about Halifax

It [sc. woolly boletus] is a rare plant here. The specimen from which this description and these figures are taken, grew in Robin Hood's Scar, in Southowram, near Halifax, in September, 1784.[4]


The crom in Cromwell Bottom refers to the winding course of the Calder as it passes through that locality. The Celts had "crwm" (krumb, German) and the Saxons "crumb," both signifying crooked or winding. Anyone standing on Robin Hood Scar at the top of Elland Park Wood, and looking down on the Calder, will see that it answers perfectly to this term in that part of its course. It is quite serpentine. "Well" may be a corrupt form of Celtic pwl = a pool. Bottom applies to the valley. The local pronunciation is Crum-il Botham.[3]




Brief mention

Also see