Robin Hood Court (Bow Lane)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Coordinate 51.512375, -0.093897
Adm. div. Middlesex, now Greater London
Vicinity Intersection of Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street and Bow lane
Type Thoroughfare
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1682
A.k.a. Robin hood's court; Robinwoods Court; Robinhood-Court; Robinhood Court
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The site of Robin Hood Court, Bow Lane.
The site of Robin Hood Court is today a busy intersection. Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street and Bow Lane cross one another here / Google Earth Street View.
Robin Hood Court is labelled 'Robinwoods C' on John Rocque's map of London and Westminster (1746) / Locating London's Past.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-23. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-07.

'Robin Hood Court' was the name of a cul-de-sac located at what is today the intersection of Queen Victoria Street, Cannon Street and Bow lane. First recorded in 1677 or 1682, it must have owed its name to the presence of a pub named the Robin Hood there[1].

Henry Harben's earliest reference to Robin Hood Court is Ogilby and Morgan's Large and Accurate Map of the City of London (1677), but scans of this map available on the web (see Maps section below) do not include the name of the street.[2] It is, however, shown as well as labelled on William Morgan's 1682 map of London.[3] Robin Hood Court running west out of Bow Lane is listed in a register entitled A New Review of London (1728) as 'Robin hood's court [...] in bow lane'.[4] It is included on John Rocque's 1746 map of London and Westminster where it is labelled 'Robinwoods C[ourt]' (see Maps section and map detail below). John Lockie lists it in his Topography of London (1810) as 'Robinhood-Court, Bow-Lane, Cheapside,—at 19, about that number of doors on the R. from Cheapside' (see Gazetteers below). It is also included in a list of localities in the Compleat Compting House Companion (1763).[5] See further Gazetteers below. It disappeared when Queen Victoria Street and the western extension of Cannon Street were constructed.[1]


1720 - Strype, John - Survey of London and Westminster (02)

Bow lane begins at Trinity lane, and falls into Cheapside, by St. Mary le Bow Church. The part of this Lane, in this Ward, begins about fifty Foot from Cheapside, on both sides the way; and sixty Foot beyond Basing lane: And then on the West side, only to Trinity lane. This was antiently called Cordwainers street, being very well inhabited and built. In this Lane are these Courts and Places of Name; viz. Half moon Court, by some called Lugg Yard: a Place something open, but ordinary. It is likewise, by some, called Whalebone Court, from one that there boileth Whalebones. Taylor's Court, a pretty handsome open Place. Robin Hood Court, indifferent long, and well built. New Court, a very handsome genteel Place, with a Door next the Street, to shut up at Nights. St. Mary Aldermary Church, the West End seated in this Lane. Goose Alley, but ordinary; at the upper end of which is Twelve Bell Court, which is but small and narrow. It hath a Passage through Compter's Alley into Bow Church Yard, both Places of small account. George Alley, or Yard, but narrow, hath a Passage into New Queenstreet, through Weld Court. Rose Court, but mean and ordinary. St. Mary le Bow Church, the Front seated in Cheapside, but the back part in Bow lane.[6]




Also see


  1. 1.0 1.1 Harben, Henry A., compil.; [Greaves, I.I., ed.]. A Dictionary of London: Being Notes Topographical and Historical Relating to the Streets and Principal Buildings in the City of London (London, 1918), p. 505, s.n. Robin Hood Court [1].
  2. Harben, Henry A., compil.; [Greaves, I.I., ed.]. A Dictionary of London: Being Notes Topographical and Historical Relating to the Streets and Principal Buildings in the City of London (London, 1918), p. 505 s.n. Robinhood Court [1]; Dobson, R. B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), p. 299, s.n. Robin Hood Court [1].
  3. Morgan, Wm., cartog.; Morden, Robt., cartog.; Lea, Phil., cartog. London &c. Actually Survey'd [and] A Prospect of London and Westminster Taken at Several Stations to the Southward thereof (London, 1904), No. 474 in the list of 'Referenees [sic] in London[,] Continued from No. 330 and ending at No. 925 King Johns Court. [sic] in Shoreditch': 'Robinhood Court'.
  4. Anonymous. A New Review of London: being an Exact Survey, lately taken, of every Street, Lane, Court, Alley, Square, Close, Green, Wharf, Row, Garden, Field, and aLl Places, by what Name soever call'd, within the Cities, Liberties, or Suburbs of London, Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark. 3rd ed. (London, 1728), p. 30 s.n. 'Robin hood's court'. Italics as in source. IRHB's brackets
  5. Anonymous. The Compleat Compting-House Companion: or, Young Merchant, or Tradesman's Sure Guide (London, 1763), p. 417, s.n. Robin Hood court [2].
  6. John Strype's A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, Book 3, Ch. 2, p. 24 (hriOnline).