Monday, June 19, 2006
Robin of Sheffield ?
IT won't go down well in Nottingham, but a pile of stones near Sheffield could be Robin Hood's home.
For centuries it has been thought the legendary archer was based in Sherwood forest while he robbed from the rich and gave to the poor.
But now archaeologists claim they have found the remains of his house - 52 miles away in South Yorkshire.
And that could be a bit of a blow for Nottingham and Sherwood forest where visitor centres have been making a killing from Robin Hood merchandise. Experts from Sheffield University have started a preliminary dig at the site of an 11th century castle in the village of Bolsterstone.
Tourism chiefs and historians recently claimed that the green-clad outlaw lived in Yorkshire rather than Notts.
Hood's friend Little John was born and died in Hathersage, near Sheffield. And experts believe finding the castle remains backs up their story.
All right, we know Robin Hood was a mythical folk hero, but the scientists reckon the home found at the dig played a major part in creating the legend of the brave bowman - played by Errol Flynn in the 1938 movie The Adventures of Robin Hood.
They believe it is where Waltheof, the Earl of Huntingdon who fiercely opposed the Norman invasion, based his empire. He started two revolts against the attackers and was executed at 30 for planning a third in 1076. Waltheof was the father of Robert Fitzwalter, an archer who became known as Robin Hood.
One of the volunteers at the archaeological dig, Steve Moxon, said: "This site might have major historical significance.
"Robin Hood was mythical, however Waltheof inspired the key ballad about the death of Hood and the 15th century prose account of him."
The team will now seek further funding to carry out extensive exploration at the site in a bid to confirm the stone and wood building was the archer's home.
Nottingham folk won't agree, but Robin of Sheffield does have a certain ring to it.