Robin Hood Street Close (Outwood)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
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Robin Hood Street Close would have been in this neighbourhood.

[[File:|thumb|right|500px|Looking roughly north on Potovens Lane; Robin Hood Street Close would have been somewhere east or south-east of this spot / Google Earth Street View.]]

Lands of Outwood Hall roughly indicated in red. Robin Hood Street Close was probably situated near the north-western perimeter, i.e. along Robin Hood Hill / 6" O.S. map Yorkshire 233 (1854; surveyed 1848–51) – Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-08-15. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-08-22.

'Robinhoodstreteclose' figures in the records as early as 1651. It must have been situated somwhere on the east side of Potovens or Wrenthorpe Lane.

A. H. Smith treats the mention of this in the court roll of the Manor of Wakefield for 1651 as the earliest reference to a locality known in 1657 and later as Robin Hood Hill (see Records below).[1] However, rather than referring to the entire hill, the name probably referred to a close on the east side side of Potovens Lane, a street crossing Robin Hood's Hill in an area about equidistant from Wrenthorpe, Carr Gate and Outwood. This stretch of the lane was previously known as Robin Hood Hill Lane. On the east side of it formerly stood Robin Hood House, while at the north end of the hill, Robin Hood Bridge still takes Potovens Lane over the line of the former West Yorkshire Railway, which is now the Doncaster and Leeds Line. In 1790-91, a couple of generations before the railway came, several fields on the east side of Robin Hood Hill were named after Robin Hood or had been so within living memory: Lower Robin Hood Close (Outwood) (1), Lower Robin Hood Close (Outwood) (2), Robin Hood Far Stile Close (Outwood), Robin Hood Near Stile Close (Outwood) and Upper Robin Hood Close (Outwood). Back in the mid-17th century there was a Robin Hood Street Close there. In order to avoid nedless repetition all these are discussed together here.

None of the closes on the east side of Potovens Lane can be pinpointed on the map, but they all lay on land belonging to the Manor of Wakefield, for they are all referred to in the Wakefield Manor Court Rolls. Since no tithes must be paid for them, they are not listed in the tithe award for Stanley cum Wrenthorpe (1845), but very helpfully they are included on the accompanying tithe map where, unlike those included in the tithe award, they are shown without a number referring to the corresponding schedule entry. The fact that 'numberless' fields and closes can potentially be identified as belonging to the manor tells us, together with a couple of references to identifiable localities in the court roll entries from 1790-91, in which neighbourhood the Robin Hood closes must have been located.

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Gazetteers

MS sources

  • 1845 tithe award for Stanley cum Wrenthorpe, online at the Genealogist, piece 43, sub-piece 374, image 025 (items #146 and #160), image 041 (item #147) (subscription required)
  • accompanying map, online at the Genealogist, piece 43, sub-piece 374, sub-image 001 (subscription required).

Printed sources

Maps

Background

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Notes


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