Fact or Fiction

Robin Hood is our local legend. A notorious outlaw and champion of the poor and oppressed he remains the most famous and best-loved hero of British history.
But across the world the question is asked - did he really exist or was he simply a figure of myth and legend?

The following text explores some of the theory, fact and research that has attempted to come up with the truth behind the legend. Nothing that follows is intended to provide the definitive facts about the Robin Hood story. Rather it will hopefully provide an interesting introduction to anyone who wants to find out more about the world's favourite outlaw.

The modern story

The origins of Robin Hood

Some candidates for Robin Hood

Sherwood or Barnsdale


Robin Hood - an alternative view
by former Sheriff of Nottingham Frank Dennett MBE

Robin Hood - The Legend through the ages by Charlotte Dahlgaard

Robin Hood of Nottingham and the De Kyme connection by Robert Henshaw

The Life and Times of Robin Hood? by Graham Kirkby

Off On The Outlaw Trail Again...! By Richard Rutherford-Moore

Forest Survival by Richard Rutherford-Moore

"Bury Me Where My Arrow Falls..." by Richard Rutherford-Moore

"When did Robin Hood meet Richard the Lionheart?" by Richard Rutherford-Moore

Who was Robin Hood?

This is a question that has exercised the minds of people across the world for hundreds of years and still provokes debate and argument to this day.
To those of us brought up on the tales and stories since early childhood he is a part of our lives. To those of us fortunate enough to live here in Nottingham he is all around us in our placenames, landscape and history.

Whilst the spirit of Robin Hood lives on, the hard historical evidence is somewhat more elusive. Certainly, there are many who state clearly that they have discovered his true identity and others who with equal vigour will dispute these claims and continue to search for a definitive answer. To a certain extent, this is what keeps the Legend so alive to this day.

The wonderful thing about the Robin Hood story is that it means so many things to so many people. The triumph of good over evil. The robbing of the rich to give to the poor. The romance of Robin and Marian. The very image of outlaws pursuing their lifestyle in defiance of authority. The kinship of the outlaw band. The paganistic references to the Green Man and the connections with nature and the outdoor life. The medieval imagery of longbows, castles and Kings. The ballads, court rolls and faded manuscripts that feed the dedicated researchers and academics in their quest to find the truth. The magical landscapes, woodlands and places that bring the tales to life for any visitor to Nottingham.

All these and more are weaved into the rich tapestry that is Robin Hood.

This section will examine some of the theories and findings regarding the question "who was Robin Hood".

Send us your thoughts and we will try to add them to the pages in this section.
If you want to contribute, e-mail:


Alternatively, add your voice to the Robin Hood Forum in the Society Section.