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Robin Hood Close (King's Clipstone)

Locality
Coordinates 53.175833333333, -1.0986111111111
Adm. div. Nottinghamshire
Vicinity Slightly S. of King John's Palace, King's Clipstone; S. and E. of Mansfield Road (B6030); c. 1 km NNE of Clipstone
Type Area
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1766
A.k.a. Robin Hoods Close
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Robin Hood Close, King's Clipstone.
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Approximate indication of location, shape and size of Robin Hood Close, King's Clipstone, according to an 1766 enclosure map (upper portion of area in red) and an 1841 tithe award (entire area in red) / Google Earth Street View.
An enclosed area behind the gate was known as Robin Hood Close in the mid-18th to mid-19th century / Google Earth Street View.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-05-01. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-12.

'Robin Hood Close' was the name of an enclosure a few tens of meters south of the ruins of King John's Palace – formerly more commonly known as the King's Houses – in King's Clipstone (Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire).

The enclosure is recorded as "Robin Hoods Close" on an enclosure map dated 1766[1] and as 'Robin Hood Close' in a tithe award dated 1841.[2] According to the tithe award, the land was owned by the Duke of Portland – Charles Anthony Ferdinand Bentinck, 4th Count Bentinck (1792–1864) – and occupied by William Millns, the state of cultivation being "[a]rable". The area of the enclosure was 6 acres, 2 roods and 11 perches (26582.79 m2). However, the area designated "Robin Hoods Close" on the 1766 enclosure map is less than half of this. I have indicated both areas – sizes, locations and shapes are only approximately correct – on a Google satellite map below, where the entire area in red represents the situation in 1841, while the southern portion of it reflects the state of affairs indicated on the earlier map. I must note that I have not seen the 1766 map but know about it only indirectly from archaeologist Andy Gaunt's discussion of it and his use of it as a source for one of his own maps. I think the chief uncertainty resulting from this is whether the southern boundary of the area on the 1766 map coincides with the southern boundary of the area shown on the 1841 tithe map.

At present there is a wall or other barrier along the line that bisects the area which is indicated in red on the satellite map, but no overground traces remain of a wall along the northern or southern boundary of the larger (1841) area. The ruined remains of King John's Palace can be discerned a little left of the centre of the roughly triangular green area immediately north of the area indicated in red on the satellite map. This, together with the northernmost part of the area indicated in red, is known as Castle Field. The still existing wall or barrier forms its southern boundary. In 1630 the northern part of Castle Field was known as "Manor Garth", the southern as "Waterfield".[3] The latter would be identical with the northern part of the area referred to as Robin Hood Close in 1841 (the northern part of the area in red on the satellite map). Gaunt notes that there is a "ditch filled with rubble or the remains of a wall" at the boundary between Manor Garth and Waterfield.[4] I believe that this more or less coincides with the northern boundary of Robin Hood Close as shown on the tithe map in 1841. O.S. maps from 1884 and later (see Maps section below) show no field boundary there. With no enclosing wall remaining at the northern or southern boundary of the area, it seems unlikely that the name "Robin Hood Close" should have remained in local use. Given the presence of the famous ruins within the larger enclosure to the north, it also seems unlikely that the name 'Robin Hood Close' should have been transferred to the latter. Presumably in local usage the ruins would have lent their name to the field. The name 'Robin Hood Close' therefore must be considered defunct. Without access to the 1766 enclosure map it is hardly possible to say if nomenclature changed between 1766 and 1841 or if one of the maps was quite carelessly drawn. In all events, it is intriguing to note that the northern boundary of Robin Hood Close was located a few tens of meters from the famous royal hunting lodge in the centre of Sherwood Forest.

In a section on "The Palatial Ruins of Clipstone", F. Sissons in his Beauties of Sherwood Forest (1888) (see Quotations below) tells his readers that according to tradition the meeting between Robin Hood and Richard Lionheart took place near Clipstone. Although there is no evidence of this, the tradition he refers to may have been connected with Robin Hood Close, but as he also refers to Scott's Ivanhoe, one may wonder whether this, rather than local tradition, was not in fact his source.

Quotations

[F. Sissons. Sissons's "Beauties of Sherwood Forest" (1888):] Tradition says that it was near Clipstone that Richard Coeur de Lion, becoming accidentally separated from his followers, was surrounded by Robin Hood and his famous band of outlaws. Questioned by the stout-hearted stalwart monarch, Robin, attired in his usual suit of Lincoln green, revealed his incognito to the king, telling him that he and his bold companions were there to do homage to his majesty. This pleased the king so much that he invited him to Westminster, whither it is said the daring outlaw went. But of such old-world tales where can the lover of half-romance, [p. 83:] half- fact, be better entertained than in the matchless "Ivanhoe" of Sir Walter Scott.[5]

Gazetteers

MS Sources

  • 1766 Enclosure map. At Welbeck Abbey[6]
  • 1841 Tithe award for Clipstone, Edwinstowe, online at the Genealogist.co.uk, piece 26, sub-piece 030, image 271, plot 138 (requires paid subscription)
  • Accompanying map, online at the Genealogist.co.uk, piece 26, sub-piece 30, sub-image 001 (requires paid subscription).

Maps

Discussion

Background

Also see

Notes

  1. Gaunt, Andy. The King's Houses: a Geophysical Resistance Survey of King John's Palace, Clipstone, Nottinghamshire (NCA-018) ([West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire], [2011]), see p. 20; Gaunt, Andy. Clipstone Park and the Kings Houses: Reconstructing and Interpreting a Medieval Landscape through Non-Invasive Techniques. MA thesis (University of Birmingham, 2011), see p. 17.
  2. 1841 Tithe award for Clipstone, Edwinstowe, online at the Genealogist.co.uk, piece 26, sub-piece 030, image 271, plot 138 (requires paid subscription); accompanying map, online at the Genealogist.co.uk, piece 26, sub-piece 30, sub-image 001 (requires paid subscription).
  3. Gaunt, Andy. The King's Houses: a Geophysical Resistance Survey of King John's Palace, Clipstone, Nottinghamshire (NCA-018) ([West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire], [2011]), see pp. 10, 11 (figs. 10-11), 16 (figs. 12-14).
  4. Gaunt, Andy. The King's Houses: a Geophysical Resistance Survey of King John's Palace, Clipstone, Nottinghamshire (NCA-018) ([West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire], [2011]), see p. 18.
  5. Sissons, F. Sissons's "Beauties of Sherwood Forest:" A Guide to the "Dukeries" and Worksop (Worksop; London, 1888), p. 83-84.
  6. Not seen, but cf. Gaunt, Andy. The King's Houses: a Geophysical Resistance Survey of King John's Palace, Clipstone, Nottinghamshire (NCA-018) ([West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire], [2011]), see p. 20; Gaunt, Andy. Clipstone Park and the Kings Houses: Reconstructing and Interpreting a Medieval Landscape through Non-Invasive Techniques. MA thesis (University of Birmingham, 2011), see p. 17.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Not seen.