Barnsdale, or Barnsdale Forest, shown by the circle, was much larger than it is today. It has a rich history steeped in folklore and lies in the immediate vicinity north and north-west of Doncaster. It was formerly forested and a place of royal hunts and was also renowned as a haunt of the outlaw Robin Hood in early medieval ballads.
Formally an administrative area in itself, Barnsdale has at different points in history come under the jurisdiction of the counties of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, and Yorkshire. This explains how the Yorkshireman Robin Hood came into contact with the sheriff of Nottingham in Yorkshire.
The three Nottingham sheriffs who also became the sheriffs of Yorkshire were:
Brian de Lisle the Sheriff of Nottinghamshire of Derbyshire, was also castellan of Knaresborough (Yorkshire) in 1205, Sheriff of Yorkshire in 1206 and succeeded Robert de Vieuxpont in charge of the Archbishopric of York.
Eustace De Ludeham. Sheriff of Nottingham 1213 and 1232. Sheriff of Yorkshire 1225.
Henry de Faucumberg. Sheriff of Nottinghamshire 1318-19. Sheriff of Yorkshire 1323-27
Barnsdale no longer exists as an administrative region. Villages which once resided in the central and southern part of Barnsdale are now classed as part of South Yorkshire and come under the administration of Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster. Villages and hamlets that once resided in the north of Barnsdale now lie within the City of Wakefield metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire.
THE BOUNDARY DISPUTE BETWEEN NOTTINGHAM AND YORKSHIRE
There was a boundary dispute between Hathersage which is in Derbyshire and was administered by the sheriff of Nottingham and Bradfield/Loxley which is in Yorkshire. This is why the Sloane Manuscript says "Robin Hood was born at Lockesley in Yorkshire, or after (according to) others, in Nottinghamshire.” The dispute affected hunting rights and was nothing to do with Robin Hood who everyone agreed was born in Loxley, but the dispute could have affected which county Loxley was in and from the rhyme below it is apparent the people of Nottinghamshire were claiming Loxley belonged to them. As it turned out they were wrong and Loxley is in Yorkshire.
"In Locksley town, in merry Nottinghamshire,
In merry sweet Locksley town,
There bold Robin Hood was born and was bred,
Bold Robin, of famous renown."
Picture: Depicting Robin Hood and Little John fighting over the River Skell at Wentbridge. Yorkshire.