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Robinhoods Close (Brize Norton)

Locality
Coordinates 51.767777777778, -1.5669444444444
Adm. div. Oxfordshire
Vicinity In Brize Norton
Type Area
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1777
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Brize Norton where Robinhoods Close was located.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-02-13. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-03-06.

'Robinhoods Close' figures as a Brize Norton field name in a 1777 enclosure award. Margaret Gelling makes an interesting suggestion with regard to its etymology, noting that "Robinhood is used in dialect of several plants".[1] 'Robinhood' or 'Robin Hood' is known to have been used as a folk name for Silene dioica (first recorded 1847; a.k.a. 'red campion'), Geranium robertianum (1913; a.k.a. 'storksbill', 'death come quickly' etc.) and Lychnis flos-cuculi (1913; a.k.a. 'Ragged-Robin') (see section 'Also see' below). The suggested etymology would imply that the plant name was in use nearly 80 years before the first certain record, which may of course well have been the case. As one would expect, field names inspired by local vegetation are very common. Thus in Brize Norton, in 1777, we also find Cherry Hayes Close, Grass Close, the Ivy House, Limborough which perhaps means 'flax hill', Oak Piece, Rushy Moor and Saint Foin Ground.[2] Gelling's suggestion may thus well be correct, but it must be remembered that there are other possible explanations. The close may have been named directly, as it were, after the outlaw or after an owner/occupier surnamed Robinhood (see page on Persons surnamed Robinhood). Field names are by their nature intensely local. Some may owe their existence to children, who tend to be more imaginative than adults and are rather more likely to play Robin Hood.

Perhaps further research will reveal the exact location of Robinhoods Close. In the meantime, the coordinates indicated in the infobox and map are those of Brize Norton.

Gazetteers

Sources

Maps

Maps focused on Brize Norton; Robinhoods Close not indicated.

Also see

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Notes

  1. Gelling, Margaret; Stenton, Doris Mary, compil. The Place-Names of Oxfordshire (English Place-Name Society, vols. XXIII, XXIV) (Cambridge, 1953-54), pt. II, p. 308, and see p. 306 for the township, I, p. xxxiv for the MS source. Italics as in Gelling.
  2. Gelling, Margaret; Stenton, Doris Mary, compil. The Place-Names of Oxfordshire (English Place-Name Society, vols. XXIII, XXIV) (Cambridge, 1953-54), pt. II, p. 308.