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Tours > Robin Hood's Nottingham > Robin Hood's Well

Robin Hood's Well
In Nottingham, two miles north-east of the city centre (589419)

The Victorian Robin Hood's Well, Nottingham Otherwise known as St. Anne's Well, this was one of the most popular of Robin Hood's Tourist attractions in the 17th & 18th centuries. It is known to have been in existence as early as 1287 but was then called Owswell standing in Robin Hood's Chase. It is not referenced under the outlaw's name until 1500. Presumably when a connection was made with an affray which had occurred there involving Robin and his men. They only avoided prosecution when Lincolnshire nobleman pleaded on their behalf.

The water here used to rise into a little pool covered by an artificial cave. In 1797, it was described as "under an arched stone roof of rude workmanship. The water is very old. It will kill a toad. It is used by those who are afflicted with rheumatic pains". The adjoining pub displayed various Robin Hood artefacts and, for a small fee, you could sit in his chair, wear his 'cap' (or helmet), hold his bow and drink from the well: an initiation ceremony for the Brotherhood of Robin Hood. It was a highly popular spot and local dignitaries even paraded there on Easter Monday.

The pub's licence was withdrawn in 1825 due to the rowdy behaviour of its clientele. A tea-room took over the running of the well, but closed thirty years later. Soon afterward, in 1857, an elegant gothic well-house was placed over it, but this was knocked down in 1887 when a railway line was built over the site. The railway has now gone, but the well's location was lost for many years until, in 1987, it was uncovered in the car park of 'The Gardeners' public house in Wells Road. It has since been covered over, but there are hopes that it may, one day, be reinstated.

Next Stop: Robin Hood's Race

Click to review The History of Robin Hood

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