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Tours > Robin Hood's Yorkshire > Robin Hood's Bay

Robin Hood's Bay
Five miles south-east of Whitby, North Riding (952055)

Robin Hood's Bay is mentioned in Leyland's Itinery (1538) as, "a fischer tounlet of 20 bootes caullid Robyn Huddes Bay, a dok or bosom of a mile in length".

"When his [Robin Hood's] robberies," says Master Charlton in his 'History of Whitby,' "became so numerous, and the outeries against him so loud, as almost to alarm the whole nation, parties of soldiers were sent down from London to apprehend him . . . and then it was, that, fearing for his safety, he found it necessary to desert his usual haunts, and, retreating northward to cross the moors that surrounded Whitby (one side whereof happens, a little unfortunately, to lye open to the sea,) where, gaining the sea coast, he always had in readiness, some small fishing vessels, to which he could have refuge, if he found himself pursued; for, in these, putting off to sea, he locked upon himself as quite secure, and held the, whole power of the English nation at defiance."

Other stories indicate that the town itself was built by Robin after he shot an arrow to the site from Stoupe Brow, clean across the Bay.

There are alarming descriptions of the village by Victorian visitors, who speak of the peoples' houses being scattered over the face of a steep cliff and hanging in an awful manner on to the projecting ledges of precipices; and also of entire families being swept away into a watery grave on stormy nights. Eventually the entire cliff fell away and the villagers had to build their homes in more sensible places - though even these days, they still seem very exposed.

Next Stop: Whitby, North Riding

Click to review The History of Robin Hood

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