English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Robin Hood's Well

Early-attested site in the Parish of Burghwallis

Historical Forms

  • Robbinhood-well 16 DodsN
  • Robin Hood(s) Well 1622 Hnt 1675 Og 1771 M


Robin Hood's Well, Robbinhood-well 16 DodsN, Robin Hood (s ) Well 1622 Hnt, 1675 Og, 1771 M, cf. also 'the stone of Robert Hode ' 1422 Brett. The reference is to the Robin Hood of the ballads; cf. Robin Hood's Bower i, 226supra , Little John's Well 44infra . This well is in Barnsdale (37infra ). The editor of Brett dates the deed with 'the stone of Robert Hode ' 1322 and this would antedate the earliest mention of Robin Hood (in Piers Plowman B. v, 402) by some fifty years (cf. my note in MLR xxviii, 484); on checking this the correct date is certainly a century later; but it is still a very early reference.