Robin Hood (Denholme)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Coordinate 53.801597, -1.891924
Adm. div. West Riding of Yorkshire
Vicinity In grounds of Foster Park
Type Area
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1849
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Part of Foster Park in Denholme was known as 'Robin Hood' in the mid-19th cent.
This part of Foster Park was known as 'Robin Hood' in 1849 / [ Betty Longbottom, 10 June 2008; Creative Commons, via Geograph.
The second of the three plots in gray was 'Robin Hood' / Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland; Creative Commons.
Modern aerial photo of Foster Park and its surroundings / Google Earth Street View.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-07-18. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.

Part of the grounds of Foster Park in Denholme was a piece of farmland known as 'Robin Hood' in 1849.

'Robin Hood' is listed in the 1849 tithe award for Thornton in the parish of Bradford with the representatives of Mr Buck as landowners, Joseph Maud as occupier, state of cultivation as 'Arable', and an area of 4 acres, 1 rood and 2 perches (17249.73 m2).[1] The plot immediately north of 'Robin Hood' was called Little John, that below it was Low Robin Hood. Together these three contiguous plots covered and area nearly identical with the present park.

It is anyone's guess what prompted the name 'Robin Hood'. It is perhaps not so much a name of the plot as a reference to part of the vegetation that grew on it. At least three wild flowering plants are or were known under the folk-name 'Robin Hood': Geranium robertianum, Lychnis flos-cuculi and Silene dioica. Since the field for information on nomenclature in the tithe award forms carried the heading 'Name and Description of Lands and Premises' – usually interpreted as Name or Description' etc. by those who filled in the forms – it is entirely possible that what was entered there was in this case not really a name but a descriptive phrase which owners/occupiers came up with in response to the tithe commissioners' or their clerks' request for a name or description for a plot of land for which they did not normally need a name. See further the pages on Robin Hood (Denholme) and Robin Hood (Royston, Barnsley) (2).


MS sources


Also see


  1. Tithe award for the township of Thornton in the parish of Bradford (1849) (Piece 043, Sub-Piece 399, Image 307, #1445); Tithe award map for the township of Thornton in the parish of Bradford (1849) (Piece 43, Sub-Piece 399, Sub-Image 001, #1445 –; subscription required).

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