Robinhood Lane (Mawdesley)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Coordinate Near 53.6392, -2.749
Adm. div. Lancashire
Vicinity Blue Stone Lane N of Hand Lane junction, S of Syd Brook Lane junction; Mawdesley
Type Thoroughfare
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1881
A.k.a. Blue Stone Lane
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Blue Stone Lane north of Hand Lane junction and south of Syd Brook Lane.
Blue Stone Lane north of Hand Lane junction and south of Syd Brook Lane was known as Robinhood Lane in the late 19th century. / Google Earth Street View.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-07. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-02-12.

A stretch of Blue Stone Lane in Mawdesley was known locally as 'Robinhood Lane' in the late 19th century and the early years of the 20th.

Which lane

It is not difficult to see what may have inspired the name. Along this stretch – less than 0.5 km – of road lay no less than four landscape features, artifacts or buildings named after Robin Hood: an inn, a well, a cottage, and a cross. The street name never became established in official nomenclature, but it is found in census records from 1881 to 1901. Richard Langford in his excellent blog post on the Robin Hood Inn in Mawdesley states as fact, but without offering any arguments in support, that the name 'Robin Hood Lane' referred to the current Tincklers Lane.[1] I feel convinced that he has first-hand knowledge of the district, which I do not, but still I cannot accept his identification of 'Robin Hood Lane' as the full story unless he can produce better evidence than what I have found in the census records.

In the 1881 census,[2] just two households are listed under 'Robinhood Lane': 1) the 'Robinhood Tavern' (i.e. Robin Hood Inn) with innkeeper Thomas Bentham and his dependants, and 2) the basket maker John Halton and family. The latter are not found in the immediate area in earlier or later censuses. We note, however, that the Robin Hood inn is located at Robinhood Lane. Conceivably, therefore, the latter road name may have been applied to the short stretch of Blue Stone Lane that runs east from the inn to the Blue Stone–Tincklers–Tannersmith Lane junction. I have found no other evidence that this could be the case. More light is thrown on the question by comparing data from the 1891 and 1901 census records.

In 1891,[3] the census taker visited Ash Farm and then six other households before reaching the Robin Hood Inn, all on Blue Stone Lane. The maps listed below show that Ash House (or Ash House Farm) and Ash Cottages lay on the east side of Blue Stone Lane, south of Hand Lane. The census taker was therefore walking south to north along Blue Stone Lane. The households he visited there are numbered consecutively 121 (Ash Farm) to 128 (Robin Hood Inn) in the record. The families he listed under Nos. 125 and 126 Blue Stone Lane are the same as those listed in the 1901 census record under Nos. 68 and 69 Robinhood Lane.[4] The latter name was therefore certainly applied to a stretch of Blue Stone Lane south of and including the inn and perhaps also, as we saw above, to the short stretch east of it. Whether any part of Tincklers Lane was considered part of Robinhood Lane is an open question.


MS sources



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