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December 2017: A West Country Christmas – Dorset in December

Thomas Hardy’s celebration of Christmas in Dorset in his early novel Under the Greenwood Tree is perhaps second only to A Christmas Carol (a version ...More
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Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves

Year: 1991
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Cast: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Christian Slater, Alan Rickman , Sean Connery , Geraldine McEwan , Michael McShane, Brian Blessed , Michael Wincott, Nick Brimble.
Set Locations:
Southern England: Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire and the New Forest in Hampshire doubled up as Sherwood

Kevin Costner takes the lead role in this 1991 film version of the classic tale of England's most famous outlaw. Kevin Reynolds directs the film, which is somewhat of a departure from the more traditional 'Robin and his Merry Men' tales. Witchcraft and Devilry feature in this version of the tale, which has an all star cast to support Kevin Costner. In addition to Costner, who was probably at the height of his popularity at the time it was made, the film stars Morgan Freeman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Alan Rickman and Christian Slater.

Robin returns to England following his escape from the Turks, who captured him as he served alongside King Richard on a Crusade. He finds his ancestral home destroyed and his father killed by the Sheriff of Nottingham , who falsely accused him of satanic worship. Duncan, former servant of Robin's father, survived the incident but had his eyes taken out by the Sheriff. He tells Robin what has happened and they take shelter in Sherwood Forest together with the Moor Azeem who is played by Morgan Freeman. In the forest they meet Little John and Friar Tuck, who join them in the struggle against the sheriff.

The tale of Robin Hood has been one of England's most popular legends for many centuries and has attracted many millions of people to Nottinghamshire and Sherwood Forest. Sherwood Forest today covers 165 square miles and surrounds the village of Edwinstowe, home of Thoresby Hall. The magnificent former Stately Home at Thoresby Hall is now a country house hotel owned by the Warner Leisure Group.

Sherwood Forest is largely managed by the Forestry Commission, who organise a great many activities and walks through the forest. Some of the scenes were shot in Sherwood Forest but damp conditions there made life very difficult for the crew and Burnham Beeches, close to Pinewood Studios, doubled up for Sherwood Forest in many scenes.

The film takes in a number of other beautiful and interesting locations apart from Sherwood Forest. There is the fight between Robin and Little John, which is filmed at Aysgarth Falls in North Yorkshire. Also in North Yorkshire, the scene where Marian sees Robin swimming is shot at Hardraw Force.

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was used for filming. This must be one of the most popular filming locations in England having been used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, as well as appearing in the film Elizabeth and the popular TV series Blackadder.

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On this day:
Henry VI Crowned as Henri II in Paris - 1431, Oliver Cromwell becomes 'lord protector' - 1653, The 'Bill of Rights' established - 1689, Boston tea party - 1773, Battle of the Bulge Begins - 1944
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