The Churches of Sherwood Forest

history of St. Mary's

The history

People having been praying on this site since 633 BCE when the first church was built here. King Edwin of Northumbria became a Christian in 625 BCE. He was killed at the Battle of Hatfield against Pends of Mercia. His soldiers gathered his body and initially buried it in a clearing in Sherwood Forest.

When they came to retrieve it to give Edwin a proper king’s burial in his capital city of York, they found people had been visiting his first grave – the grave of Saint Edwin.



A wooden chapel was erected on the present site.

Later, as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas a Beckett, Henry II ordered his men to go around the country and converting wooden chapels into stone. Hence the central part of our church dates from 1175.

Further extensions in 1350 and 1450 and an increase in height gave us the building we see today.

St. Mary’s also is where according to legend Robin Hood married his Lady Marian.


Many visitors come to our church as a result of the phrase – According to Legend it was here Robin Hood married his Lady Marian. Guided tours of our church are available by arrangement either for small or large parties.
Unlike what you may have been told by Hollywood there is a lot more to the story than what you might think, its not just about robbing the rich and giving the the poor. come join and find out what life was like back when Robin Hood lived. Come take a step into history.