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Tours > Robin Hood's Nottingham > Southwell Minster

Southwell Minster
Six miles west of Newark (702537)

Southwell Minster Southwell, pronounced 'Suthl,' is the home of the great Collegiate Minster, and now Cathedral, Church of St. Mary the Virgin. It is the most perfect survival of a great Norman church you will ever see in England. Its imposing twin towers of the west front were erected in 1108 and their simple dog-tooth and interlaced arch architecture continues throughout the nave, porch, transepts and tower in warm cream-coloured Mansfield stone. Only the original eastern end has gone, rebuilt in 1234. A chapter house was added sixty years later and is justly famous for its superb foliate carvings.

Standing proud on the edge of Sherwood Forest, this building would, no doubt, have been well-known to Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Like them, the Canons were not best friends with the King's Foresters who extracted exorbitant dues from them for carting their building stone across forestland from Mansfield. Not on display, but kept in the library at the Minster is Robin Hood's supposed Drinking Flask. It is a leather pocket flask of a type popular in the 16th century.

Next Stop: Bishopshill, Rainworth

Click to review The History of Robin Hood




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