Robin Hood (Churchbridge)
|Vicinity||Walsall Road (A34), Churchbridge, Wyrley, Cannock|
|Interest||Robin Hood name|
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-10-19. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-02-12.
The Robin Hood on Walsall Road in Churchbridge, Wyrley, which was torn down in 2016, was in existence by 1838 and is known to have been named the Robin Hood by 1842.
One William Gilpin owned an edge-tool factory in Churchbridge by 1817. At the gates of it he had established, by 1838, two public houses and a brewhouse. He was the kind of capitalist one occassionally comes across in English 19th century history who was not content to make a profit from the work he paid his workers to do but sought to exploit them through a truck system. A Tommy shop near the factory was in existence by 1871 but may have been in operation long before this date. In his well-researched and informativ blog post on this pub, a Wyerley local historian notes that an entrepreneur with this mindset would hardly have been attracted to a traditional character widely regarded as the embodiment of the principle of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. He suggests that the choice of name – it is first recorded in Pigot's directory for 1842 – may instead reflect an (unrecorded) conflict with next-door neighbour and beer-retailer Charles Hood. He suggests that if the 'figure of folklore' was the unaided source of inspiration, it must have been 'plucked from the air'. However, it must be noted that with 225 recorded Robin Hood pubs in England – and no doubt many are yet to be discovered – 'Robin Hood' was (is) close to being a generic pub name. It is not clear that a specific reason is required for choosing such as name.
The pub closed in 2015 and was torn down in 2016 to make way for three flats, see Robin Hood Court (Churchbridge). For ownership history, careers and changes of publicans, renovations etc., see the items on WyrleyBlog listed under Sources below as well as that listed under Background.
- Not included in Dobson, R. B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 293-311.
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.1 (1884; surveyed 1882)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.1 (c. 1902; rev. c. 1900). No copy in NLS
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.1 (1917; rev. 1915) (georeferenced)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.1 (1917; rev. 1915)
- 25" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.1 (1945; rev. 1938)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.NW (1883; surveyed 1882–83)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.NW (1903; rev. 1900) (georeferenced)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.NW (1903; rev. 1900)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII (1921; rev. 1915)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.NW (1921; rev. 1915)
- 6" O.S. map Staffordshire LVII.NW (c. 1945; rev. 1938).