The Northern Antiquarian Forum

Archaeology, folklore & myth of Britain's pre-christian sites & heritage: stone circles, holy wells, maypoles, tombs, archaic cosmologies and human consciousness. Everyone welcome - even Southerners!


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    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 34
    Location : Calderdale

    Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:05 am

    I have to say I usually avoid internet fora these days thanks to far too many unpleasant experiences in the past, but this looks like a friendly place and rather more mercenarily, I'm currently researching a book and you might be able to furnish me with some information Wink.

    As the unfortunate son of Andy Roberts (whose occasional writings on folklore and earth mysteries some of you may be familiar with) I spent much of my childhood being dragged up muddy tracks in the rain to look at various old stones. This rather prejudiced me against such matters for many years but lately I've found myself pulled back in!

    My main interest these days lies at the intersection of archaeology and folklore; the original function of sites intrigues me less than some of the strange beliefs they were later associated with and particularly in how such beliefs can be perceived as symbolic representations of the genius loci.

    Meanwhile, the book I'm currently writing deals with the folklore of Robin Hood's grave at Kirklees, and I'm particularly interested in the possibility that some traditions connected to it suggest the monument may have been erected on the site of an earlier waymarker or standing stone, which became associated with the outlaw's name like so many other monolithic sites in Calderdale. I would certainly welcome any thoughts on this subject.
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Sunbright57 on Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:42 am

    Hello Kai, I too have always been interested in Robin Hood's Stones and wells etc. Thats a strong possibility, as many xtian churches and monasteries were built on the sites of preChristian monuments, sometimes these were allowed to remain on "church land". Many ancient stones stand in church-yards in Wales and also in England - eg Rudstone, Yorkshire. Its likely the church wanted to retain something of the old religion or combine the two. Perhaps in a way, to bring the newly converted people subtly in to the new faith, without loosing anything of the old.
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    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 34
    Location : Calderdale

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:00 am

    Sunbright57 wrote:Hello Kai, I too have always been interested in Robin Hood's Stones and wells etc. Thats a strong possibility, as many xtian churches and monasteries were built on the sites of preChristian monuments, sometimes these were allowed to remain on "church land". Many ancient stones stand in church-yards in Wales and also in England - eg Rudstone, Yorkshire. Its likely the church wanted to retain something of the old religion or combine the two. Perhaps in a way, to bring the newly converted people subtly in to the new faith, without loosing anything of the old.
    My thoughts exactly. The site of the grave is also right beside an old highway, which as the only route along the north bank of the River Calder prior to the 19th Century, may have been of some great antiquity. It's been mooted since Watkins that standing stones were often incorporated as way-markers along such routes.
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Paulus on Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:06 pm

    Hi there Kai!!!

    Bloody 'ell - walking on t'moors, being dragged thru bogs and muddy terrain, ey!? Half a dozen times when you were doing that, y' dad and thee were with me! Wink Not sure if you remember though...? I still do the same thing, most weeks, so if you fancy regressing into those early years again Kai, hunting old stones and myths, you're most welcome on some wanders! Smile Good to see you here anyway.

    < Meanwhile, the book I'm currently writing deals with the folklore of Robin Hood's grave at Kirklees,>

    Sounds interesting. Have you found at the old stone by the roadside below the Grave, bits of which were chipped off for toothache (or some alleged healing aspect)? I think it's still there and have been meaning to check it out for years, but aint got round to it yet.

    All the best - Paul
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    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 34
    Location : Calderdale

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:03 pm

    Hi Paul!

    Paulus wrote:Bloody 'ell - walking on t'moors, being dragged thru bogs and muddy terrain, ey!? Half a dozen times when you were doing that, y' dad and thee were with me! Wink Not sure if you remember though...?
    Oh, don't get me wrong. There's nothing I love more now than a trek across some dreich moorland, I was only when I was about six that I found it a bit much. Although I am still vaguely convinced that peat bogs are trying to eat me...

    I don't specifically recall any walks with you but I certainly do recall visiting your house on a number of occasions (for purposes I only discovered from my father much later!)

    I still do the same thing, most weeks, so if you fancy regressing into those early years again Kai, hunting old stones and myths, you're most welcome on some wanders! Smile
    I would be very pleased to take you up on that offer at some point. I'd be especially interested if you were ever hunting for anything in the Colne or Holme valleys above Huddersfield. Those areas seem to have received scant attention from antiquarians and folklorists, especially when compared to surrounding valleys such as the Calder.

    Sounds interesting. Have you found at the old stone by the roadside below the Grave, bits of which were chipped off for toothache (or some alleged healing aspect)? I think it's still there and have been meaning to check it out for years, but aint got round to it yet.
    As I understood it, the stone from which chippings were taken was the original "gravestone" itself, the remaining fragment of which now lies barely recognisable on the floor of the 18th Century grave enclosure. It was in fact that very tradition which prompted its enclosure in the 1750s. There's a lot of debate about whether the monument is in the grave's initial position though. The earliest references in the 15th Century certainly place it in those woods, but some have suggested that it was once closer to the old road.
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Paulus on Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:01 pm

    Hi again!

    Kai Roberts wrote:
    Paulus wrote:Bloody 'ell - walking on t'moors, being dragged thru bogs and muddy terrain, ey!? Half a dozen times when you were doing that, y' dad and thee were with me! Wink Not sure if you remember though...?
    Oh, don't get me wrong. There's nothing I love more now than a trek across some dreich moorland, I was only when I was about six that I found it a bit much. Although I am still vaguely convinced that peat bogs are trying to eat me...

    Yep! - they're the sorta wanderings I still love doing! Not for the faint-hearted...nor too many 6yr olds either!

    Kai Roberts wrote:...As I understood it, the stone from which chippings were taken was the original "gravestone" itself, the remaining fragment of which now lies barely recognisable on the floor of the 18th Century grave enclosure.

    Can't remember the sources, but I recall reading that the original "gravestone" stood nearer the road misself. And, as you've brought it up, I'm gonna head over there tomorrow if the weather's OK & check the damn thing out. It's been on my back-boiler for too long, so to speak. Have you come across a copy of Horsfall-Turner's rare "Robin Hood" booklet? I checked various libraries for a copy years back, but drew a blank - and Turner was one fuckova diligent researcher. I think the text must have remained in his personal papers, wherever they may be.

    Cheers - Paul
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    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 34
    Location : Calderdale

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:52 pm

    Paulus wrote:Can't remember the sources, but I recall reading that the original "gravestone" stood nearer the road misself. And, as you've brought it up, I'm gonna head over there tomorrow if the weather's OK & check the damn thing out. It's been on my back-boiler for too long, so to speak. Have you come across a copy of Horsfall-Turner's rare "Robin Hood" booklet? I checked various libraries for a copy years back, but drew a blank - and Turner was one fuckova diligent researcher. I think the text must have remained in his personal papers, wherever they may be.
    Well, like I say, this is the source of some controversy. The original stone is almost definitely the one on the floor of the enclosure. You can still just about discern the line of a cross shaft on it, but it's been so eroded by several hundred years weathering and vandalism that there's hardly anything left. It might have been moved to the current site prior to its enclosure, but the evidence for this is thin. It depends on how seriously you take a reference in Richard Grafton's Chronicle of 1568 which claims Robin was buried beside the highway. Grafton isn't generally regarded as a reliable source and anyway, W.B. Crump in YAJ seems to think "three chains from the highway may reasonably regarded as near it". In 1589, the Halifax antiquarian Sir John Savile in a letter to William Camden certainly described the grave as being in the "woods" of Kirklees Priory.

    The Horsfall-Turner pamphlet appears to exist in an archive at Wakefield called the John Goodchild collection, although I'm not sure it's definitely the one. I haven't actually been to investigate as I wasn't convinced that it would offer much more than was to be found in his History of Brighouse, Rastrick & Hipperholme and Yorkshire Notes & Queries, some of which is inaccurate. For instance, his claim that the Dumb Steeple at Cooper Bridge was originally the sanctuary cross of Kirklees Priory is clearly mistaken as Kirklees never had sanctuary rights.
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Paulus on Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:57 pm

    Hello again Kai!

    I've just got back from RH's Grave. It's been at least a decade since my last visit - and oh how the lack over overgrown vegetation (rhododendrons notwithstanding!) show it in a different light.

    You'll have noticed the excessive amount of old walling close by the Grave no doubt, beneath the undergrowth, on most sides as you approach the place (I took a few photos of various lengths of it). And that there 'castle' bit 100yds west is a nice addition. Suspect But the more I wandered back and forth around our hero's grave, the more a simple statement seemed true: Robin Hood's Grave is little more than just another feature built into the ornamental gardens & grounds below the Estate here. I wish it wasn;t true - but that seems increasingly the case as far as I'm concerned. Wot d' y' reckon?

    Having said that, I'm more than a little intrigued by the rounded stone on the grave itself. Have you managed to decode the words carved onto it? Izzit just a copy of the more famous carved headstone in the grave wall?

    ttfn - Paul
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Salutations

    Post  Sunbright57 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:10 pm

    The author Jim Bradbury gives an interesting explanation with regard to the grave/tomb at Kirkless in his book 'Robin Hoood' published by Amberley Publishing 2010. If anybody is interested in some of what Bradbury says with regard to the three inscriptions, I would be happy to comment on what he arrives at. Will let you know his findings shortly. So much to do !

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    Last edited by Sunbright57 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Paulus on Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:20 pm

    Sunbright57 wrote:The author Jim Bradbury gives an interesting explanation with regard to the grave/tomb at Kirkless in his book 'Robin Hoood' published by Amberley Publishing 2010. If anybody is interested in some of what Bradbury says with regard to the three inscriptions, I would be happy to comment on what he arrives at.

    Pray, tell us Ray! Smile
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    mikki

    Join date : 2009-01-29
    Age : 25
    Location : West Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  mikki on Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:14 pm

    Kai Roberts wrote:I have to say I usually avoid internet fora these days thanks to far too many unpleasant experiences in the past, but this looks like a friendly place and rather more mercenarily, I'm currently researching a book and you might be able to furnish me with some information Wink.

    As the unfortunate son of Andy Roberts (whose occasional writings on folklore and earth mysteries some of you may be familiar with) I spent much of my childhood being dragged up muddy tracks in the rain to look at various old stones. This rather prejudiced me against such matters for many years but lately I've found myself pulled back in!

    My main interest these days lies at the intersection of archaeology and folklore; the original function of sites intrigues me less than some of the strange beliefs they were later associated with and particularly in how such beliefs can be perceived as symbolic representations of the genius loci.

    Meanwhile, the book I'm currently writing deals with the folklore of Robin Hood's grave at Kirklees, and I'm particularly interested in the possibility that some traditions connected to it suggest the monument may have been erected on the site of an earlier waymarker or standing stone, which became associated with the outlaw's name like so many other monolithic sites in Calderdale. I would certainly welcome any thoughts on this subject.

    A rather belated Hello. Sorry Twisted Evil
    Welcome to the forum Kai.
    You would be more than welcome to experience some more of the muddy tracks, bogs, bulls, rain, snow, fog (helps you go round in circles), rangers with shot-guns etc with us on our wanders.

    Mikki
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Salutations

    Post  Sunbright57 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:02 am

    Ok Paul. Author Jim Bradbury in his recent book 'Robin Hood' published by Amberley Publishing Plc 2010 says and I quote "It was claimed in the sixteenth-century that here (Kirklees) was the site of Robin's burial though there remains confusion over the authenticity of stones claimed to have been part of it (his tomb)". "He [Richard Grafton in his Chronicle at Large in 1569] described in detail the grave, which is depicted in a seventeenth-century drawing. Grafton goes on to say and I quote "that at either end of the tomb there was a cross of stone ...which is to be seen there at present." "He (Grafton) says that "on the gravestone were the names of Robin Hood, William of Goldesborough and others". Bradbury says "there clearly was a grave and at some time the Hude name was inscribed upon it but we retain some serious doubts as to whether it was originally Robin's monument".

    The author goes on to say "It seems to be a second tomb, which is described by later writers". Richard Gough writing in the eighteenth-century, mentions a stone with a cross 'fleuree', broken and much defaced, and apparently not the same as the Goldesborough one. Bradbury says "This was the one to be excavated in the eighteenth-century by Sir Samuel Armitage, the owner of Kirklees Park", "and it is no great surprise that the dig produced nothing of interest". "There seemed to be no burial at all beneath the stone".
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    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 34
    Location : Calderdale

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:50 pm

    Paulus wrote:You'll have noticed the excessive amount of old walling close by the Grave no doubt, beneath the undergrowth, on most sides as you approach the place (I took a few photos of various lengths of it). And that there 'castle' bit 100yds west is a nice addition. Suspect
    Indeed. Right in the middle of the Iron Age earthwork as well! Although it is rather atmospheric, all overgrown with ivy. Did you get any decent photos of the grave itself? Mine from when I lasted visited it are all rather poor and so far the Estate haven't responded to my request to go and take some more. I could just hop over the wall of course but I'm quite timid when it comes to going places I'm not supposed to be Embarassed

    But the more I wandered back and forth around our hero's grave, the more a simple statement seemed true: Robin Hood's Grave is little more than just another feature built into the ornamental gardens & grounds below the Estate here. I wish it wasn;t true - but that seems increasingly the case as far as I'm concerned. Wot d' y' reckon?
    Well, it depends on exactly what you mean. I've never thought there was a single historical individual known as Robin Hood. He's most probably a composite figure based on 12th Century outlaws such as Fulk Fitz-Warin and Eustace the Monk, embellished by the literary flourishes of the medieval balladeers. As such, the grave can't be "authentic" in any empirical sense.

    However, Kirklees is the only place consistently associated with Robin's death (quite a contrast to King Arthur, for instance) and has been since at least the mid-1400s when it was first referenced in the ballad-epic A Lytell Geste of Robin Hode. The earliest record of an actual physical grave was by John Leland around 1536 i.e. before the dissolution of Kirklees Priory and some fifty years before the Armytage family settled there.

    The various features around the grave and the current grave "folly" itself are indeed the product of extensive landscaping works between 1750 and 1770. Yet it's clear that something known as Robin Hood's grave stood there for over two centuries before that occurred.

    Ultimately, it's the only site in Britain which lays claim to being the burial place of the outlaw and has done for at least five hundred years. Whichever way you look at it, that's quite a remarkable continuity of tradition. Given that I don't believe "Robin Hood" can actually be buried there, I find the process by which that legend became so indelibly attached to such an obscure site quite fascinating.

    Having said that, I'm more than a little intrigued by the rounded stone on the grave itself. Have you managed to decode the words carved onto it? Izzit just a copy of the more famous carved headstone in the grave wall?
    The rounded stone on the floor of the enclosure is almost certainly the original gravestone, reduced to that state by people taking chippings for toothache. There's some controversy about exactly what was on it. There was definitely a Calvary cross and an inscription of some sort, but that was described as illegible as long ago as the early 18th Century.

    It definitely wasn't the same text as carved on the headstone. This first appears recorded by Ralph Thoresby in the 1730s, allegedly found amongst some earlier papers of Thomas Gale, Dean of York. However, Gale seems (for various reasons) to have been making some sort of scholarly joke which Thoresby failed to spot. When the grave was restored in the 1750s, it was erroneously included on the headstone, albeit presumably in good faith.

    mikki wrote:A rather belated Hello. Sorry Twisted Evil
    Welcome to the forum Kai.
    You would be more than welcome to experience some more of the muddy tracks, bogs, bulls, rain, snow, fog (helps you go round in circles), rangers with shot-guns etc with us on our wanders.

    Mikki
    Hello Mikki and thanks for the welcome. I certainly wouldn't mind joining for a wander at some point, although after being unwell for most of the winter and not having had much opportunity to get out, my fitness levels have declined to a rather embarrassing level...

    Sunbright57 wrote:"It was claimed in the sixteenth-century that here (Kirklees) was the site of Robin's burial though there remains confusion over the authenticity of stones claimed to have been part of it (his tomb)". "He [Richard Grafton in his Chronicle at Large in 1569] described in detail the grave, which is depicted in a seventeenth-century drawing. Grafton goes on to say and I quote "that at either end of the tomb there was a cross of stone ...which is to be seen there at present." "He (Grafton) says that "on the gravestone were the names of Robin Hood, William of Goldesborough and others". Bradbury says "there clearly was a grave and at some time the Hude name was inscribed upon it but we retain some serious doubts as to whether it was originally Robin's monument".

    The author goes on to say "It seems to be a second tomb, which is described by later writers". Richard Gough writing in the eighteenth-century, mentions a stone with a cross 'fleuree', broken and much defaced, and apparently not the same as the Goldesborough one. Bradbury says "This was the one to be excavated in the eighteenth-century by Sir Samuel Armitage, the owner of Kirklees Park", "and it is no great surprise that the dig produced nothing of interest". "There seemed to be no burial at all beneath the stone".
    Thanks for quoting that. I hadn't seen Bradbury's book but this seems to be essentially a variation on the argument presented by Maurice Keen in The Outlaws of Medieval Legend. The problem is, neither Grafton nor Gough can really be regarded as reliable sources. Grafton was a notorious plagiarist and there's certainly no evidence to suggest that he ever visited Kirklees. The same is true of Gough, who whilst generally far more highly regarded than Grafton, relied on second-hand information in the instance and made some quite obvious errors in the description of the grave in his expanded edition of Camden's Britannia.

    The excavation by Sir Samuel Armytage recorded Gough is often cited but again, it's evidence of very little. He is said to have dug only to a depth of one yard, but medieval burials were typically dug to nearer two and given that the site is heavily vegetated, the rate of soil accumulation means that by the early 18th Century any remains could've been several yards deep. An article in Bradford Antiquary from the late 19th Century mentions that the excavation actually hit the natural rock - which would be evidence of absence - but gives no source for this claim.
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
    Age : 59
    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Salutations

    Post  Sunbright57 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:10 pm

    I will have a look in Tony Robinson's book 'In Search of British Heroes'. This has a section on Robin Hood. Will get back to you.
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
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    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Salutations

    Post  Sunbright57 on Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:52 pm

    Have a look at this link http://www.icons.org.uk/theicons/collection/robin-hood/features/robin-hood-s-grave-finished
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
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    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Salutations

    Post  Sunbright57 on Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

    Tony Robinson in his book 'In Search of British Heroes published by Channel Four Books 2003, says that and I quote "the legendary hero Robin Hood died at Kirklees priory at the hands of the prioress Elizabeth de Steynton in 1346"; she may have been a relation of Robin Hood. The building where he supposedly died was the gate-house, now derelict. Robinson goes on to say that "the grave has a long foliated cross on it which originally had a stepped base before the bottom end went missing". Two names are inscribed on the stone Robin Hood (Hodd) and William Goldburgh, whoever he was. The first known sketch of the grave was drawn by Nathaniel Johnston in 1665. Robinson says "the grave has been shifted more than once", and when excavated "only mud was found beneath" The author says that "the original gravestone was first mentioned as being at Kirkless in an encyclopaedia of 1607". To quote Robinson "The grave now lies in a walled rectangle, topped with wrought-iron railings on the ridge of a hill near to the priory gate-house" (or some 600 metres away). In the 19th century a belief sprang up that chewing a piece of Robin's gravestone could cure toothache.
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    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 34
    Location : Calderdale

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:50 am

    Thanks for posting this; I hadn't read Robinson's book but I have seen the series of documentaries which it accompanies. Again there are substantial problems with this account.

    Sunbright57 wrote:Tony Robinson in his book 'In Search of British Heroes published by Channel Four Books 2003, says that and I quote "the legendary hero Robin Hood died at Kirklees priory at the hands of the prioress Elizabeth de Steynton in 1346"; she may have been a relation of Robin Hood. The building where he supposedly died was the gate-house, now derelict.
    The Prioress in question could not have been Elizabeth de Staynton as she would've been only 17 in 1346 and did not become Prioress of Kirklees until the late Fourteenth Century, which is later than any proposed historical date for the Robin Hood legend. Indeed, any time after 1250 is now pretty much ruled out. Staynton is typically associated with Robin's murder purely because hers is the only grave of a Prioress to have been found at Kirklees since the Dissolution.

    Equally, the Gatehouse is a red herring. The story of Robin's final arrow shot does not enter the ballads until the late Eighteenth Century. In all earlier versions, his burial site is selected by the Prioress or Little John. Hence, the Gatehouse's distance from the grave is of little consequence. Indeed, the building known as the Gatehouse probably never was a priory gatehouse at all. It does not appear to have been built until the Sixteenth Century and is not mentioned in connection with Robin's death until the Nineteenth.

    Robinson goes on to say that "the grave has a long foliated cross on it which originally had a stepped base before the bottom end went missing". Two names are inscribed on the stone Robin Hood (Hodd) and William Goldburgh, whoever he was. The first known sketch of the grave was drawn by Nathaniel Johnston in 1665. Robinson says "the grave has been shifted more than once", and when excavated "only mud was found beneath" The author says that "the original gravestone was first mentioned as being at Kirkless in an encyclopaedia of 1607".
    The stone wasn't first mentioned in 1607. That pertains to the reference in Camden's "Britannia", but it was actually described much earlier in Grafton's "Chronicle" of 1563. Grafton mentions that the stone is inscribed with the names of Robin Hood and William Goldburgh. However, there are considerable problems with the reliability of Grafton's account, as he never visited the grave and was an infamous plagiarist.

    The 1665 sketch by Nathaniel Johnston also depicts the names of Robin Hood and William Goldburgh, but whilst Johnston was himself an accurate draughtsman, there is some debate over whether this sketch is the one by Johnston at all. It may well be a copy by William Stukeley, who as we all know, was a notorious embellisher.

    To quote Robinson "The grave now lies in a walled rectangle, topped with wrought-iron railings on the ridge of a hill near to the priory gate-house" (or some 600 metres away). In the 19th century a belief sprang up that chewing a piece of Robin's gravestone could cure toothache.
    Again, slightly misleading. The grave was enclosed to prevent locals taking chippings to cure toothache but this occurred in the 1750s rather than the Nineteenth Century, although the practice did continue until the railings over the top were added in the 1800s. Nonetheless, the belief clearly had origins as far back as the Seventeenth Century at least, as the grave was already described as defaced in the early Eighteenth.
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Paulus on Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:16 am

    Hi Kai!

    Kai Roberts wrote:Indeed. Right in the middle of the Iron Age earthwork as well!

    Is the entire hill an Iron Age arthwork? Or just the western edge? As we walked up from here, across the fields & private grounds, then up to Harthill church, the hill on which it sits gave the impression of such a thing, but I thought it was only on one side.

    Kai Roberts wrote:Did you get any decent photos of the grave itself?

    A few. They look alright, but I aint checked 'em thru properly yet. I've got thousands of bloody photos of sites from all over the place that are just sat on my C-drive, waiting to be stuck on-line with site profiles. God knows if/when half of them are ever gonna see the light of day!

    Kai Roberts wrote:...so far the Estate haven't responded to my request to go and take some more.

    I've heard that from quite a few people down the years. Rolling Eyes

    Kai Roberts wrote:I could just hop over the wall of course but I'm quite timid when it comes to going places I'm not supposed to be Embarassed

    I don't really bother with 'Private' signs. I respond to them as if they read, "Miserable Unhappy Bugger Lives Here" - and go onto it anyway. It's led one or 2 fine encounters down the years, but it's all good fun! Wink If we're over RH's Grave sometime soon, if y' fancy, meet up with us and we'll jump over the wall & go see it.

    ttfn - Paul
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    Sunbright57

    Join date : 2011-02-10
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    Location : Nelson - the one in Lancashire sorry to say!

    Salutations - The Robin Hood Mysteries Continue

    Post  Sunbright57 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:22 am

    Oh well, not to worry. We must also remember that Robin Hood might never have existed, he was a legendary, mythical figure. There has, it seems, been a great deal of embellishment over the centuries and this is continuing today. We might never know what really happened and the rest, as they say, is history or Legend. Ray.
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    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
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    Location : Calderdale

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:31 am

    Paulus wrote:Is the entire hill an Iron Age earthwork? Or just the western edge? As we walked up from here, across the fields & private grounds, then up to Harthill church, the hill on which it sits gave the impression of such a thing, but I thought it was only on one side.
    The earthwork's recorded in the last archaeological survey as a five-sided enclosure, although it may use the natural relief of the land on a couple of sides. Actually, the tower doesn't sit on top of the earthworks themselves, rather it sits right in the middle of the enclosure. When it was built by Sir George Armytage around 1906, it was supposed to be a folly of a Roman watchtower, as this was in the days when they still believed the earthwork was Roman rather than Iron Age.

    How did you find Hartshead church? I've always found this to be a very "sacred" place, and I suspect it was long before the Christians utilised it. Although that feeling may just be that my grandparents lived very close by and I spent many happy summer evenings playing in the churchyard when I was young!

    I don't really bother with 'Private' signs. I respond to them as if they read, "Miserable Unhappy Bugger Lives Here" - and go onto it anyway. It's led one or 2 fine encounters down the years, but it's all good fun! Wink If we're over RH's Grave sometime soon, if y' fancy, meet up with us and we'll jump over the wall & go see it.
    I quite agree with the sentiment, I have very little time for laws of trespass. I'm just a bit of a coward when it comes to actually breaking them myself! Or at least I am when I'm on my own. I would certainly be interested in taking you up on the offer if you're in the area soon. My deadline is May 1st (rather appropriately) so I could use some photographs before then. Sorry, I really should've said this last week before you came over once, but for some reason I didn't register the possibility at the time.

    Sunbright57 wrote:Oh well, not to worry. We must also remember that Robin Hood might never have existed, he was a legendary, mythical figure. There has, it seems, been a great deal of embellishment over the centuries and this is continuing today. We might never know what really happened and the rest, as they say, is history or Legend. Ray.
    Indeed. Personally I doubt there was ever one historical Robin Hood. I suspect the name was a generic medieval term for an outlaw, much like "Jack" became a generic term for a wrong 'un in the 19th Century (Jack the Lad, Spring Heeled Jack, Jack the Ripper etc.) However, given that no historical figure of that name can be buried at Kirklees, that's exactly why I find his strong association with the site (which really was a very obscure religious house back in the day) and the process by which it came about so fascinating.

    Like I say, one possibility I'm considering is that the place was originally the site of a stone monolith - perhaps an old wayside cross or boundary marker - which like so many other anomalous stones in the Calderdale region had the name of Robin Hood attached to it in the late medieval period. This came to the attention of the author of the ballad known as A Gest of Robyn Hode (from the dialect, the writer almost certainly came from Yorkshire) who wove a story around it. The connection was then eagerly adopted by later antiquarians and the landowners themselves.
    avatar
    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Paulus on Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:48 am

    Kai Roberts wrote:The earthwork's recorded in the last archaeological survey as a five-sided enclosure, although it may use the natural relief of the land on a couple of sides. Actually, the tower doesn't sit on top of the earthworks themselves, rather it sits right in the middle of the enclosure. When it was built by Sir George Armytage around 1906, it was supposed to be a folly of a Roman watchtower, as this was in the days when they still believed the earthwork was Roman rather than Iron Age.

    Cheers for that! (and that old Armytage fella's an old relative on mi mum's side!)

    Kai Roberts wrote:How did you find Hartshead church? I've always found this to be a very "sacred" place, and I suspect it was long before the Christians utilised it.

    Distinctly heathen in nature - and certainly before the church was stuck there! I think it's a superb place and its landscape position gives the game away. Mi nose was twitching like hell for hidden sites & lore, which must still scatter the region. We were hoping to get to a few other places in the locale when we were there, but the daylight fell away too fast. I'm up for a good wandering around Hartshead again in the coming months...

    Kai Roberts wrote:...My deadline is May 1st (rather appropriately) so I could use some photographs before then.

    You should have asked! Lemme got thru the imaages & I'll see what I've got.

    Cheers - Paul
    avatar
    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 34
    Location : Calderdale

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:38 am

    Paulus wrote:Distinctly heathen in nature - and certainly before the church was stuck there! I think it's a superb place and its landscape position gives the game away. Mi nose was twitching like hell for hidden sites & lore, which must still scatter the region. We were hoping to get to a few other places in the locale when we were there, but the daylight fell away too fast. I'm up for a good wandering around Hartshead again in the coming months...
    There's a definitely a lot of lore concentrated in that area. I can think of the remains of an old Saxon cross, a holy well and a dragon legend connected with a mound nearby. That's just the stuff that people know of; I'm sure you might be able to find some more which hasn't been properly attended to. Let me know if you're heading over and I shall hopefully be able to join you.

    You should have asked! Lemme got thru the imaages & I'll see what I've got.
    Thanks Paul. That would be absolutely brilliant. Very Happy
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    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Paulus on Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:28 pm

    Hello again!

    Kai Roberts wrote:...and a dragon legend connected with a mound nearby.

    Yeahhh? I aint come across that one. Where be that?

    Kai Roberts wrote:
    You should have asked! Lemme got thru the imaages & I'll see what I've got.
    Thanks Paul. That would be absolutely brilliant. Very Happy

    Gimme a day or 2 and I'll email 'em onto you (have I got your email address?). Is large-format .jpeg OK? Then you can tweak 'em as you see fit. I don't think they're gonna be brilliant though, as the light in there aint too good even at the best o'times. Fingers crossed! Wink

    atb - Paul
    avatar
    Kai Roberts

    Join date : 2011-03-15
    Age : 34
    Location : Calderdale

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Kai Roberts on Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:03 am

    Paulus wrote:Yeahhh? I aint come across that one. Where be that?
    It's connected to an old hamlet called Blakelaw. The settlement itself was destroyed by the M62 but the actual site at which the dragon was supposed to reside, a small copse on a hillock called Upper Blakelaw Wood, survives at SE173231. The legend itself isn't very detailed. Just a stray bit of old lore which had endured in the folk memory and was recorded in the 1920s. I've written a bit about it here.

    Gimme a day or 2 and I'll email 'em onto you (have I got your email address?). Is large-format .jpeg OK? Then you can tweak 'em as you see fit. I don't think they're gonna be brilliant though, as the light in there aint too good even at the best o'times. Fingers crossed! Wink
    Thanks again Paul, I really will be very grateful. Large format .jpg is fine and I'll send you a PM with my email address. The lighting is the problem is have with my own photographs from my last visit. Hence why I was trying to contact the estate, so I could go up there with some proper equipment. Some longer exposures with a tripod might get better results.
    avatar
    Paulus

    Join date : 2009-08-20
    Location : Yorkshire

    Re: Salutations

    Post  Paulus on Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:30 am

    [quote="Kai Roberts"]
    Paulus wrote:Yeahhh? I aint come across that one. Where be that?
    It's connected to an old hamlet called Blakelaw. The settlement itself was destroyed by the M62 but the actual site at which the dragon was supposed to reside, a small copse on a hillock called Upper Blakelaw Wood, survives at SE173231. The legend itself isn't very detailed. Just a stray bit of old lore which had endured in the folk memory and was recorded in the 1920s. I've written a bit about it here.

    I'm intrigued! study I see the place was also known as Bleak Lowe and it's right on the local boundary line. The word 'lowe' in our region is known to represent a meeting place (which'd make sense with it being on the boundary line), but also a tumulus. And dragons and tumuli have always gone together well! Have you had a wander into the few trees that remain in this little wood to see if owt's there?

    Below Bleak Law Lane (or whatever it's new title) I see there was a Cross Lane. Any old cross-stump still there? And have y' found owt about the curiously-named 'Wagestan', possibly a 'stone that moves' - but certainly a stone of some sort in the adjacent parish.

    Cheers - Paul

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