Robin Hood's Well (Conistone)
|Adm. div.||West Riding of Yorkshire|
|Vicinity||Conistone, in Wharfedale|
|Interest||Robin Hood name|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2014-08-27. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-12.
Robin Hood's Well is the source of Robin Hood's Beck, a tiny trickle running between the Thresfield–Kilnsey road and River Wharfe in Conistone, Wharfedale. A.H. Smith lists the stream and spring as "Robin Hood's Beck & Well" without citing any source, which tends to indicate a place-name of recent occurrence. Dobson & Taylor, as is their wont in such cases, take Smith's reference to refer to a single locality, which is not strictly true since the Beck is, of course, the little stream, while the Well is its source, just west of the road from Thresfield to Kilnsey close to the spot where the Beck runs under that road.
Robin Hood's Beck is indicated on the two latest (1896, 1910) of the three O.S. 6" maps of the area available at NLS (see Maps section below). One should not necessarily conclude from the absence of this place-name from the 1852 map of the area that the name had not yet arisen, for the Beck, east of the road, is included already on the 1853 map of that area. I have not been able to persuade myself that any particular feature visible in Google Earth is the most likely location of the well, but the O.S. maps indicate an area, rather than a definite spot, just west of the road where the Beck runs under it. Perhaps Robin Hood's Well is a seepage or infiltration spring, i.e. a spring with a small flow rate where the source water filters into permeable earth. Perhaps the well is still known as Robin Hood's Well? Also see Robin Hood's Beck (Conistone)
- Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), p. 310
- Northern Antiquarian: Holy Wells, Healing Springs & Spas.
- 6" O.S. Yorkshire Sheet 133 (1852, surveyed 1847-50) (at NLS; Well not indicated).
- 6" O.S. Yorkshire Sheet CXXXIII (1896, surveyed 1892) (at NLS).
- 6" O.S: Yorkshire Sheet CXXXIII.NE (1910, surveyed 1907) (at NLS).