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The Legend of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest

Robin Hood is one of the greatest English folk heroes whose fame has spread throughout the world through countless books, films and television series. The romantic image of Robin Hood is of a medieval hooded figure in Lincoln Green, a master bowman with a quick mind and mischievous sense of humour. Dispossessed by greedy Norman overlords, he is forced to live beyond the law in the leafy depths of Sherwood, a royal hunting forest. From his forest lair he ambushes rich travellers, fights corrupt officials, and shares the spoils of his outlawry with poor, oppressed peasants.The legend of Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest can be traced back to as early as the 14th century. To this day Sherwood Forest plays host to numerous festivals to celebrate our favourite hero.

Many tourists visit the Church of St Mary, Edwinstowe, where according to legend, Robin Hood and Maid Marian were wed. The Church, built around 1175 is still used as a place of worship.

The Major Oak is the most famous of the ancient oaks of Sherwood and weighs an estimated 23 tonnes, its trunk circumference is 33 feet (10m) and its branches spread to over 92 feet (28m). In a 2002 survey the Major Oak was voted “Britain’s favourite tree”. It was previously known as The Cockpen Tree as its hollow trunk was once used to pen cockerels. Sherwood's ancient oaks are reputed to have been the favoured hiding places of Robin Hood and his Merry Men and according to local lore, the Major Oak itself was one of them. Though if, as legend has it, Robin roamed Sherwood in the 12th or 13th century, the Major Oak would have been a mere sapling then.

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