Yes, I met Robin Hood today.
I managed to squeeze an afternoon in the fabled city of Nottingham on my way from Bath to York.
I took a morning train from Bath and arrived in Nottingham around 12:30. I dropped off my backpack in a storage locker at the bus station next door and walked into town.
I found this Robin Hood walking tour online and since it had good reviews and it really was the only game in town, I signed up.
As person after person showed at the meeting point I started to realize that, man, this guy is raking it in.
At a tour price of £12 the money adds up.
Today’s tour in the offseason had 15 people so you do the math…
Anyway, at 2pm, Robin Hood appeared dressed in his classic garb complete with horn, sword, and a satchel to carry the previously mentioned money.
Over the next two and a half hours we learnt about the history of the region and the town of Nottingham and, of course, of the tales and legend of Robin Hood.
Here’s a quick snippet of things from the tour…
It’s “snot” what you think…
The town of Nottingham was named after a Saxon chieftain named Snot and literally means “the homestead of Snot’s people”.
Thankfully when the French invaded (as they tended to do) they had trouble pronouncing the “S” and just dropped it so the town became Nottingham.
To almost all of us, a forest is land where there’s a bunch of trees but it actually translates to an area for hunting.
And way back when, most of that land here was under the king’s rule meaning if you got caught hunting on it you were stealing from the king and you would surely lose your head.
How did people get caught?
Well, alot of time they still had the blood of the deer they had just hunted on their hands and hence the term – caught red handed…
Back when people didn’t really know how to read and write, words were spelled phonetically.
Basically, people would spell a word the way it sounded.
Of course, people would pronounce a word much differently depending on what region you came from so you would end up with many different spelling of a word.
For example, hood could be spelled hud, hude, hyd, hwd… well, you get the idea.
Apparently there is a myth (or truth depending on who you ask) that here in Nottingham there are 5 women for every man.
The reason being that for a long time the lace industry was a huge thing here in Nottingham and with it, it brought many women to the city to work with it.
Now, is the whole 5-1 thing still true nowadays? Honestly, I’ll need to come back here to Nottingham and research a little more I think…
You know the sayings “on the wagon” and “one for the road”?
Well, they date back to when people were being led by wagon to the executioner.
People would toss an ale to the man “on the wagon” so he could have a drink before he met his fate. Literally, having “one for the road”.
And that seems like a good segue to end this blog…