The Old York Road and Robin Hood's Cave

Once again Albie has sent in some great pictures of ‘Robin Hood Country,’ along with interesting details of the locations. A while ago I explained that I was very interested in re-discovering some of the ancient track ways that led through the parts of Sherwood Forest. So this time Albie takes us along part of the Old York Road in Nottinghamshire.

The main London to York road, also known the Great North Way, ran straight through Sherwood, and travellers were often at the mercy of robbers living outside of the law. Hence the name ‘outlaws’. It was such an important route in early times that it was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086:

“In Nottingham the River Trent and the dyke and the road to York are so protected that if anyone hinders the passage of ships, or anyone ploughs or makes a ditch within two perches of the King’s road, he has to pay a fine of £8.”

Here are Albie’s descriptions of his pictures:

The River Maun Looking North

"This was taken from the hump back bridge on the lane (Whitewater Lane) that runs between Walesby and the A614. The river, known as both the Maun and Whitewater locally, drains from Mansfield before meeting the Meden a couple of miles further north. The bridge was built in 1859 for the estate workers at Thoresby Hall to travel from Walesby and Ollerton without having to ford the river.

Old York Road Looking West

                                              Old York Road Looking North

These are taken at the point where the Old York Road crosses the lane to Walesby around 100 metres from the hump back bridge. The road south goes into New Ollerton and onwards to Old Ollerton through a large housing estate built for the now demolished Ollerton Coal mine. The picture north is where the road becomes a foot path bordering the Walesby Forest Scout Centre to the east and the River Maun to the west.

The York Road, North at Robin Hood's Cave

These pictures were taken above and at the side of Robin Hood’s Cave which is obscured by vegetation. Local legends have it that Robin and his outlaw band would hide here below the main road above ready to ambush the unwary traveller. A local historian reckoned the caves have been used since the retreat of glaciers at the end on the Ice Age. This historian, now deceased, maintained that Walesby and parish is the oldest continually inhabited place in Europe though this would be difficult to prove. Artefacts dating to the Bronze Age have been found around the village as have numerous Roman coins.”

                                              Robin Hood's Cave

                                         Robin Hood's Cave 2

Many thanks Albie. I can’t help thinking of Carmen Dillon’s set design for Disney’s Story of Robin Hood when I see those pictures of Robin Hood’s Cave. Also of the outlaws looking down, as the rich travellers made their nervous way along the York Road.


Clement of the Glen said...

"The Old York Road and Robin Hood's Cave"

Albie, May 2010

Avalon said...

Thank you both for these excellent pictures! You have made my day, seriously I will go to work smiling! It is so easy to picture Robin Hood stalking unsuspecting souls in these photos. You are very lucky to be able to walk Robin's footsteps.

Clement of the Glen said...

Thank you Avalon. I am pleased you enjoy seeing the images of 'Robin Hood County.'

I do try to post pictures like these so that my readers from other countries can see some of the sites associated with Robin. And having Albie, who lives in Nottinghamshire, sending in such great images from his 'neck of the woods' is fantastic.

Albie said...

Albie is out of the country at the moment and unable to access the blog. So he has left me this message to paass on:

"Thanks for posting the pictures. I Am only too happy to oblige and will try dig some more stuff that may be of interest to the blog in future. I am also happy to answer any questions regarding the area and history/egends if anyone has any.


Herns son said...

It would be intereating if there were more information about Kerklees Abby, all I know is that the Abby is on private land owned by a Lady something or other. the place is crumbling which is such a shame Kirklees has often been linked to Robin Hood. what a place to visit , I've also read that the place is suposed to be haunted by a nun. Kirklees is not open to the public.Does anybody know more??

Clement of the Glen said...

I have visited Kirklees, Mike, but Robin's supposed grave is on private lands. And you have to ask a member of the Armitage family for a special viewing.

I do have quite a bit of info on the tomb and its history, along with lots of images, which I will post on very soon.

Adele Treskillard said...

These are beautiful pictures. Many of them have a distinctly northern feel and remind me that the Scots, too, told stories of Robin Hood and had Robin Hood plays and songs.

Herns son said...

Good to put a face to the name clement, look forward to seeing pics of Kirklees. it was in Robin of Sherwood they seemed to mention it quite frequentley.This seriese was without a doubt the best TV seriese.