The Legend of Robin Hood, England’s most daring and loved outlaw, emerged from the mists of history almost eight hundred years ago. Stories about robin first appeared in ancient ballads and poems. They told how Robin and his merry Men of Sherwood Forest fought for justice against tyrants, and stole from the rich to help the poor.
The legends brought to life Robin’s sweetheart, Maid Marian, and his band of fellow outlaws. They included such fearless men of honor as the gentle giant Little John, noble Will Scarlet, the ballad signer Alan a Dale, Midge the miller and jovial Friar Tuck.
But Robin had three all-powerful enemies; the cruel and greedy Sheriff of Nottingham, his right-hand man, Sir Guy of Gisborne, and Prince John, the treacherous brother of King Richard the Lionheart.
Only Robin and his courageous band stood between those three traitors and a cunning plot to steal the throne of England.
These outlaws were all real people, once upon a time. But they have changed over the years in their telling. Heroes have become even braver. No doubt, Little John has grown larger than ever; Friar Tuck has probably become fatter in the telling of the legend. Somehow, all stories become a little bigger and better with retelling. Except that the Sherwood Forest is not as large as it used to be and it’s not such a frightening place as it was in Robin’s day.
Yet, wander through Sherwood on a warm summer’s evening, just as the sun is setting. Look around you; feel the eyes watching you from the thick greenwood; hear voices laughing and the ring of horses’ bridles; smell the roasting venison on the blazing fire. The ghosts of the Merry Men of Sherwood Forest can still be heard singing and feasting around the crackling fire, beneath the Great Oak tree!