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Sherwood Castle

A Twenty First Century construction built on the attraction of the Robin Hood legend.

Closer to home, and on a completely different level, there is also a Sherwood Castle, near Rufford ,which is not actually a "castle" as such but a privately owned Holiday Village! The self catering accommodation and leisure facility was developed in 2002 as a "starting from scratch" business venture by local Nottingham entrepreneur, Stuart Mills, who recognised the potential demand in the visitor market for a small-scale accommodation and leisure facility situated in the peace and quiet of a secluded wooded environment close to Sherwood Forest and subtly linked to the Robin Hood legend. Employing local labour and services from the surrounding towns and villages, the log cabin based attraction (which includes a small swimming pool and sports hall complex) soon became a popular venue. As an initial attraction, several original large-scale props and set decorations from the Kevin Costner "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" movie were located around the site, including Friar Tuck's Tax Wagon and the iconic catapult that propelled Costner and fellow actor Morgan Freeman over the castle walls to rescue Maid Marian (Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio) from the evil clutches of the Sheriff of Nottingham played by Alan Rickman. In the reception area there was also Prince John's Throne from the set of the 1991 "Robin Hood" film that starred Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman. However, due to it being released in the same year, this gritty and more down-to -earth version of the legend was somewhat eclipsed by the aggressive Hollywood publicity machine behind the marketing of the Costner blockbuster!

The Sherwood Castle venture subsequently developed into an excellent example of how subtly adopting the Robin Hood theme into the marketing of the facility helped create a successful commercial business that contributes a year-round influx of visitors into the local economy.