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Robhodway (Walsham le Willows)

Coordinate 52.303, 0.938
Adm. div. Suffolk
Vicinity In or near Walsham le Willows
Type Thoroughfare
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1344
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Walsham le Willows.
Willows in Walsham le Willows / Bob Jones.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-08-02. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2019-04-05.

The road name Robhodway occurs in two entries in the Walsham le Willows (Suffolk) court rolls for 1344 (see Evidence below). "Robhood" is recorded as a family name in Walsham le Willows from 1283 to 1628.[1] As is the case with other surnames of the "Robinhood" type, the etymology is unknown, and it is not entirely certain that this surname has anything to do with Robin Hood. Although it seems more likely Robhodway was named after the local Robhood family than vice versa, this also cannot be regarded as certain. It is, however, difficult to imagine what circumstance or natural or manmade feature could have given the road its name if not the simple fact that it was the road where the Robhood family lived. Whether Robhodway is in any way a Robin Hood-related place-name therefore depends on whether it meant 'the road where the Robhoods live' and whether the surname has anything to do with Robin Hood. However, if this place name is thus of dubious relevance, this is something it may share with many other apparently Robin Hood-related place names. In many cases where we do not know the history behind a "Robinhood" or "Robin Hood" place name, it is possible that it originally referred to a perfectly law abiding citizen named Robin or Robert Hood or surnamed Robinhood. Robin Hood's Grave at Kirklees Priory is perhaps an example of this.


1344 - Robhodway (Walsham le Willows) (1)

[12 Apr. 1344:]
Thomas Fuller amerced 3d. for an encroachment at Staple way, digging on the common there, 4p. long and 4ft. wide, ordered etc., pledge the Hayward; and 3d. for making a pit on the common, digging clay at Robhodway; ordered. Walter Fuller amerced 3d. for the same. Roger the Prior of Ixworth did the same, ordered etc.[2]

1344 - Robhodway (Walsham le Willows) (2)

[12 Apr. 1344:]
Roger the Prior of Ixworth amerced 3d. for making an encroachment at Robhodway, digging a claypit on the common.10[3]




Also see


  1. See the page on the Robhoods of Walsham le Willows. By 1577 and probably already by the mid-15th century, "Robwood" had become the standard form of the name.
  2. Lock, Ray, ed.; Bailey, Mark, general ed. The Court Rolls of Walsham le Willows 1303-1350 (Suffolk Records Society, vol. XLI) (Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1998), p. 269. Record translated by Lock.
  3. Lock. op. cit., p. 271. Record translated by Lock.