A Little History…
The Forest Lodge dates from the mid-eighteenth century and is an original coaching inn. The barn at the back of the building – our restaurant – was where the horses were rested between stages of the journey.
Over the course of the last two and a half centuries, the Forest Lodge has seen various incarnations as an inn and a hotel. Walking through the side entrance door to the main building, you can see the ‘Abstract of Title’ framed on the wall. The fourth panel refers to ‘The Temperance Hotel’ of 1903, a name that would be somewhat misleading for our establishment of today! Later on, in the 1920s, part of the hotel apparently became ‘Scrimshire’s Fish Shop’ before being converted, in the 1940s, into a tea shop run by a lady called Miss Wingate.
The Forest Lodge sits just five minutes’ walk from the famous Sherwood Forest, legendary stalking ground of the semi-mythical folk hero Robin Hood, first made popular in medieval ballads. Thanks to this connection with Robin, Sherwood has become one of the most visited woods in the United Kingdom. It actually means ‘shire wood’ and was once the largest of about 90 royal forests, a popular hunting ground with nearly all monarchs from Henry I to Richard III. Later on, from the 16th century onwards, many trees were felled to make way for farming and to provide wood for the construction of ships. The royal land was increasingly sold to wealthy families to build mansions with vast landscaped parks. It was for this reason that the area came to be known as ‘the Dukeries.’
The village of Edwinstowe itself was named after Edwin, King of Northumbria, and it literally means “the holy place of Edwin.” It is believed that Edwin died whilst fighting a battle against King Penda of Mercia just a few miles from here in 633 A.D. In his honour, a church was built on the site of the present day St. Mary’s church where, according to legend, Robin Hood married Maid Marion. The church can be seen from the windows of many of our rooms.
The Forest Lodge is ideally situated to visit a host of local attractions, some of which include:
- Rufford Country Park – containing the ruins of a 12th century Cistercian Abbey
- Clumber Park – once the seat of the Duke of Newcastle
- Southwell Minster – dating from the 7th century
- Newark Castle – built in the 12th century
- Newstead Abbey – home of the poet Lord Byron
- Nottingham Castle – built by William the Conqueror
- Chatsworth House – a country house dating from 1552
For those of a more active disposition, there are plenty of sporting activities very nearby:
- Paint – balling
- Mountain – biking
Whatever your plans might be, business or pleasure, the aim of all staff at the Forest Lodge is to ensure that your stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Feel free to ask us for anything and we will do our utmost to satisfy your requirements. Also, do give us feedback on your experience and let us know whether we are on the right track.
In the meantime, enjoy your stay!