THE SAGA OF ROBYN HOODE
IN SHERWOOD FOREST
The original Robin Hood Visitors’ Center burned
down in the early 1980’s. The UK’s Countryside Commission, responsible
for the Sherwood Forest and other historical landmarks, held an international competition to select a group to design and
build the new center. The Doultons submission, judged by the Commission and the
City Fathers of Nottingham, won the competition.
In researching the history of Robin Hood it became clear
that any factual accounting would reveal that Mr. Hood would have had to have lived for at least 400 years in many locations. Many times and places laid claim to his citizenship, heroic deeds and exploits. Clearly not all could be historically correct.
Faced with an awkward and controversial dilemma, the Doultons
opted to by-step historical vararies; and, in proper English fashion, took a tongue in cheek approach. To wit: they put aside whether all or none of the myths and legends concerning this man in green might…
or might not be true, but The Saga of Robyn Hoode in Sherwood Forest (the new name of the project) would be told asking many questions and providing many new answers. With history not on our side it was this quarter twist that won the Doultons the competition
and we believe made for a unique, government-sponsored project.
The complex was built around the base of the “Great
Oak” reputed to be the gathering place of Robyn Hoode (old English for Robin Hood) and his Merry Men. It consisted of three freestanding buildings containing a scaled-down Great Oak setting, nature museum
and audio visual theatre presentation and cafe. The heart of the complex was
an evocative, three-section, walk-through, indoor exhibition recounting the myths and legends of one of England’s most
romantic characters. A forest-themed café was also built.
The Saga of Robyn
Hoode in Sherwood Forest held the distinctin of being listed by the English Tourist Board as one of England’s Top