Edwinstowe Church, Nottinghamshire

Edwinstowe takes its name from King Edwin of Northumbria who killed near here in 633 AD and was buried for a time where St. Mary’s Church now stands.

The Church dates to the late 12th Century, although it has clearly been adapted and enlarged on several occasions since then including some definite Victorian modifications – and that hefty spire is certainly not 12th Century – more likely 15th via 19th.

However, the construction of the Church is not the most important thing here. We are in the very heart of Sherwood Forest and as ever it is the Robin Hood legend that looms largest at Edwinstowe.

Traditionally, Robin Hood and Maid Marian were married in the doorway of St. Mary’s Church - some say because as an outlaw Robin was not allowed inside, but in reality most weddings were performed in the doorway at that time.

In the village centre there is a rather twee statue of Robin proposing to Marian on bended knee.

Although a lot of the Robin Hood legend is clearly fanciful, it should be noted that Sherwood Forest truly was the haunt of outlaws and the vicar of St. Mary’s was himself convicted of forest trespass and killing the King’s deer in 1334 – only a century or so after Robin Hood stalked the Forest.

Whatever your opinion of the tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, there can be little doubt that Edwinstowe is an attractive village and it sits at the very epicentre of Nottinghamshire’s tourism trade – close by is the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, the Major Oak, Rufford Abbey, Clumber Park and pretty much everything else you might want to visit on your Sherwood Forest adventure.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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