Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blidworth Church and Will Scarlet

Above: A light hearted portrayal of Will Scarlet in his later years, from "Rogues of Sherwood Forest" (1950).

Blidworth Village has several connections to Robin Hood via both Will Scarlet and Maid Marion. The present Church of St. Mary of the Purification in Blidworth dates from 1739, but a wooden church stood on the crest of this hill since time immemorial. The Saxons replaced that wooden structure with stone, and it was probably that stone building which Will Scarlet, his friend Robin Hood, and Maid Marian would have known, and which later became the source of the Chapel of St Lawrence. In the rear graveyard one can still see the beautiful remnants of this stone building. According to legend Will Scarlet was buried in this graveyard up against the original church wall.
In the 15th century, during the reign of Richard 3rd, a tower was added and it became the church of St Mary of the Purification. When the building fell down in the early 18th century that tower was left intact, and the current building added on to it. A part of the tower was used as a marker for Will's grave. Probably not the actual spot, but a well intended and respectful tribute nevertheless. To see a video of Will Scarlet's Grave click THIS LINK.

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