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Robin Hood's Bower (Loxley, Sheffield)

Locality
Coordinates Near53.409166666667, -1.5288888888889
Adm. div. West Riding of Yorkshire
Vicinity c. 5 km NW of Sheffield
Type Natural feature
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1637
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Possible, approximate location of Robin Hood's Bower and Moss.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-07. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-16.

The exact location of Robin Hood's Bower and Moss (a.k.a. Bower Wood) recorded in 1637 is not known. Misled by a cross-reference in A.H. Smith's eight volume work on West Riding place-names (English Place-Name Society),[1]Dobson & Taylor suggest a location near the coordinates 53.446077, -1.466976, just north of Ecclesfield, slightly north of Ecclesfield Park. However, as Smith is well aware, the 1637 evidence makes it quite clear that the Bower and Moss were in or very near Loxley, immediately NW of Sheffield. The alternative name of Bower Wood probably gives us a clue to the approximate location, for at 53.409298,-1.530440, just at the south end of Loxley Common, slightly NW of Loxley House, we find Bower Cottage. Loxley Common was then as now a wooded area. Other researchers with firsthand knowledge also suggest a location near Loxley Common.[2] S.O. Addy was convinced that the name Robin Hood's Bower referred to the sort of arbour that was sometimes set up at May games.[3] That nearby localities came to be named Bower Wood and Bower Field suggested to him that the locality known as Robin Hod's Bower was used for May games on a more permanent basis. This is certainly possible, but the bower may also have been some kind of natural feature or perhaps an ancient monument. The site known as Robin Hood's Arbour in Maidenhead, Berkshire, is an Iron Age animal pen. Is there still a "moss" or bog in the area near Loxley Common?

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