torch.gif (10745 bytes)


Robin Hood's Grave


'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty and despair !
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away'



Robin Hood's death is recorded in the ballad ROBIN HOOD, HIS DEATH AND BURIAL and briefly in the GESTE. According to the literature Robin is taken ill and decides to go to Kirklees Priory to be nursed by the prioress, who was  'nye of his kin' and reputedly skilled in healing. On the way to the nunnery Robin is cursed by a witch for reasons unknown, as the ballad is unfortunately incomplete. When Robin arrives at the nunnery, Little John, who has accompanied him, is sent away and the prioress proceeds to bleed Robin by opening a vein in his arm - standard medieval medicine, though unlikely to do anyone much good !


Shee laid the blood irons to Robin Hood's vaine
Alacke the more pitye !
And perct the vaine, and let out the bloode,
That full red was to see.

At first it bled,the thicke,thicke blood,
And afterwards the thinne,
And well then wist good Robin Hoode,
Treason there was within

DEATH, V 16-17


According to the legend, Robin summons Little John with three blasts of his trusty hunting horn and the giant rushes to his
comrade's assistance, but alas, he is too late and Robin is already dying. With his last ounce of strength Robin fires his last arrow from the priory gatehouse window, requesting that where it falls he should be buried. Little John is beside himself with rage and grief and threatens to raze the nunnery and all its inhabitants to the ground.

A boon,a boon, cried Little John,
Master, I beg of thee.

What is that boon, quoth Robin ,
Little John, thou begs of me?
It is to burn fair Kirkley Hall,
And all their nunnery.

I ne'er hurt fair maid in all my life
Nor at my end shall it be;
But give me my bent bow in my hand,
And my broad arrows I'll let flee.

And where this arrow is taken up,
There shall my grave digged be,
Lay me a green sod under my head,
And another at my feet.

And lay my bent bow by my side
Which was my music sweet,
And make my grave of gravel and green,
Which is most right and meet.

Let me have length and breadth enough
With a green sod under my head:
That they may say when I am dead



The grave, six hundred yards from the gatehouse, was enclosed in iron railings in the nineteenth century.

Today it is neglected and overgrown and little known to the general public. It bears the inscription:

Here underneath dis laitl stean
Laz robert earl of Huntintun
Ne'er arcir ver as hie sa geud
An pipl kauld im robin heud
Sick utlawz as his as iz men
Vil england nivr si agen


torch.gif (10745 bytes)