Robin Hood's Grave
Robin Hood's Grave is a name given to a number of monuments in England said to mark the last resting place of the legendary outlaw Robin Hood. Examples include:
- Cairn on Crosby Ravensworth Fell,
- Monument in Kirklees Park Estate, West Yorkshire, England, . Robin Hood was traditionally supposed to have been bled to death by the prioress of Kirklees (or Kirkley or kirklea or kirkleys) Priory . The identity of the prioress is the subject of much debate as indeed is the date of Robin Hood's death. (The Prioresses of Kirklees are listed here .) The earliest reference to the gravestone is in Philemon Holland's English translation of William Camden's Britannia (1610). In the 18th century, Thomas Gale, Dean of York, claimed to have found a poetic epitaph with the date of death given as 8 November 1247, which is the date in the modern calendar that corresponds to 24 Dekembris in the calendar in use in 1247. The language in which it is written is not classified as the received Middle English of the time, but English was then, as it is now, a language with great diversity and many dialects. It is also worth noting that the grave was restored in 1850. The epitaph reads:
- Hear underneath dis laitl stean
Laz robert earl of Huntingtun
Ne’er arcir ver as hie sa geud
An pipl kauld im robin heud
Sick [such] utlawz as he an iz men
Vil england nivr si agen
Obiit 24 kal: Dekembris, 1247.
The alleged gravestone of Robin Hood's closest living companion at the time of his death, Little John, who was said to be with Robin on the day he died by treachery at the hands of the Abbess of Kirklees, is found in St. Michael's Church graveyard in Hathersage, West Yorkshire, under a yew tree. The inscription reads:
Here Lies Buried Little John The Friend & Lieutenant of Robin Hood
He Died In A Cottage (Now Destroyed) To The East of The Churchyard The Grave Is Marked By This Old Headstone & Footstone And Is Underneath The Old Yew
In 1784 Captain James Shuttleworth exhumed the grave to find the bones of a man over seven feet tall.
The site is situated on private property and, as of March 2013, is under new – and still private – management.
- Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson The Lore of the Land: A Guide to England's Legends (Penguin, 2005) p. 830