The connections with the local area go back to the early 16thCentury but this would seem to be more a celebration of the Robin Hood myth rather than any direct link. Robin Hood Gate in nearby Richmond Park was first recorded circa 1530 as Robynhood Walke and later as Robin Hoods Gate in 1785. The story of the outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor became a popular folk figure in the Late Middle Ages with the earliest known ballads featuring him from the 15thCentury and it was one, ironically, that King Henry VIII throughly enjoyed. Local historian, Clive Whichelow, in his booklet The Local Mystery of Robin Hood, says that Richmond Park was a favourite hunting ground of King Henry and the sovereign was also known to be an enthusiastic supporter of the Medieval Games that included the Robin Hood game which featured displays of archery and plays that included the characters of Robin Hood and his men dressed in Lincoln Green and also introduced Maid Marian, Little John and Friar Tuck. The legendary connection appears to have subsequently triggered several local landmarks being given a Robin Hood name and in and around Kingston and beyond, you can still find a Robin Hood church; a Robin Hood Inn; a Robin Hood School; Hill; Well; Close; and Farm together with a Robin Hood Gate to Richmond Park and a Sherwood Lodge.
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