Robin Hood's Well (Whitworth)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Coordinate 53.6749, -2.2065
Adm. div. Lancashire
Vicinity On Jackson's Moor, c. 2 km NW of Whitworth
Type Natural feature
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Extant
First Record 1831
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Robin Hood's Well.
The red arrow indicates the approximate location of Robin Hood's Well / Google Earth Street View.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2019-02-12. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.

A well on Jacksons' Moor above Whitworth was known as 'Robin Hood's Well' by 1831. It gave its name to the ravine in which it is situated.

Robin Hood's Well is first mentioned in John Roby's Traditions of Lancashire, Second Series, published in 1831 (see Allusions below). The earliest map evidence appears to be a 6" O.S. map published in 1851, based on a survey carried out 1844-48. Later maps show the tracks of an industrial railway running across the area in which the well is situated, but while the railway is long gone, the well is still there. A recent article in a regional newspaper notes that "Robin Hood’s well is still visited".[1]


1831 - Roby, John - Traditions of Lancashire, Second Series (1)

A clear rock spring, in a gloomy dell below the Hall [sc. Healey Hall], is still called “the Spaw," and often frequented by youths and maidens on May mornings. Hence some have imagined, that this Dene and its Spaw may have given to the river running hrough it the name of Spodden, or Spaw-Dene. Another spring, higher up, is called Robin Hood's Well, from that celebrated outlaw, who seems to have been the favourite champion of these parts, and who, according to some authorities, lies buried at Kirklaw, in the West Riding of York.
 Such holy wells were, in more superstitious, if not happier ages, the supposed haunts of elves, fairies, and other such beings, not unaptly denominated the rabble of mythology.[2]

1923 - Oakley, George Robert - In Olden Days

[...] folk nowadays think it still worth their while to climb the steep way from Whitworth, past Houses o'th' Hill, to see Robin Hood's well in Robin Bank. The well indeed is changed, for a trough [p. 151:] of zinc now holds the water so famous for its goodness that in days not long gone by it was though worth the trouble of carrying to Rochdale. What might not one expect from a well blessed by holy Chadde himself, and "crossed" again by famous Robin Hood, even if a trough of zinc has replaced the more picturesque receptacle of old.[3]




Brief mention

Also see