Robin Hood's House (Loxley, Sheffield)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
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Coordinate 53.406473, -1.531634
Adm. div. West Riding of Yorkshire
Vicinity c. 5 km NW of Sheffield
Type Building
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1637
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Possible, approximate location of Robin Hood's House.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-06-18. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-06.

In or just north of the village of Loxley were formerly found remnants of a house or cottage said to have been the birthplace and childhood home of Robin Hood. John Harrison mentioned the house in 1637 (see Evidence below) stating it was located in a field called Little Haggas Croft. Apparently no trace of this building remained in 1819 (see Evidence), but a photograph in a local newspaper in 1937 showed a wooden beam that was purportedly from this house.[1] A location near Normandale House on Rodney Hill in Loxley has been suggested.[2] In all events the site would have been very close to the present Loxley Common, a couple of hundred meters north of Rodney Hill. Here also in all probability were located Robin Hood's Bower and Robin Hood's Moss.

A Sheffield school teacher and local history buff claims to know the location,[3] so also an advertising page which uses a photo of 'Little Haggas Croft (the true home of Robin Hood)' to attract visitors.[4] The latter suggests a location near 53.406655,-1.527724 which, if not implausible, is not supported by any evidence or reasoning.


1637 - Robin Hood's Bower (Loxley, Sheffield)

Imprimis Great Haggas Croft (pasture) lying near
Robin Hood's Bower & invironed with Loxley
Firth & Cont.                                                                                   1—2—27
Item little Haggas Croft (pasture) wherein is ye
foundacion of an house or Cottage where Robin
was borne this piece is Compassed about
with Loxley flirth [sic!] & Cont.                                                  00—2—13
Item Bower wood lying betweene Loxley firth East
& ye lands of Mr Eyre in part west & Cont.                                 4—1—5
Item Bower field (arable) lying betweene ye last
piece East & ye lands of Mr Eyre North & west
& Loxley firth South & Cont.                                                      2—1—5[5]


1819 - Hunter, Joseph - Hallamshire

But a small portion of the course of the Loxley is within the parish of Sheffield. It rises near the village of Bradfield, and flows through a thinly-peopled country, which in the memory of man was wholly uninclosed and uncultivated, called Loxley-Chase; a district which seems to have the fairest pretensions to be the Locksley of our old ballads, where was born that redoubtable hero Robin Hood. The remains of a house in which it was pretended he was born were formerly pointed out in a small wood in Loxley called Bar-wood, and a well of fine clear water rising near the bed of the river has been called from time immemorial Robin Hood's Well. This well is included within the grounds at Cliff-Rocher, a place not inaptly named by its late proprietor Little-Matlock, as it bears no mean resemblance to some parts of the beautiful valley of Matlock in Derbyshire. The walks which that gentleman cut in the boldest part of the cliff, and along a natural terrace extending to that part of Stannington in which are the chapel and minister's house, were thrown open to the public, and much frequented during several summers by the people of Sheffield.[6]

1824 - Holland, John - Picture of Sheffield

In the grounds of a most beautiful spot, about four miles from Sheffield, called Little Matlock, (after the famed Matlock in Derbyshire, which it much resembles) is a well which has been named Robin Hood's well from time out of mind, and the ruins of a house are also to be seen, in which it is said that famous marauder first drew his breath. Little Matlock is well worth visiting. There is a house of refreshment at which tea parties may be accommodated. [7]

1837 - Holland, John - Tour of Don

A little to the north of the spot where this river [River Loxley] unites with the Rivelin, lies an extensive plain called Loxley Chase, and traditionally pointed out as the birth-place either of Robin Hood, who was sometimes called Locksley, from the place of his birth—or at least one of his followers, whose name in sound if not in spelling is identical with that of the place referred to; though what grounds of identity are traceable between our Hallamshire locality and the "Sweet Locksley [p. 177:] town in merry Nottinghamshire," where, according to the ballad, "bold Robin Hood was born and bred," it would be difficult to say. The question has its interest with ballad-antiquaries: but evidence that proves too much will be received with suspicion—the story, therefore, that some fragments of a building formerly pointed out were the remains of the early dwelling of the Sherwood royster, or the fact that his well is still pointed out in Cliff Rocher, are circumstances rather amusing than elucidatory.[8]


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