Allusions 1801-1900 (texts)
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-01. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-05-05.
The following 55 allusions are found for the period 1801-1900:
Directions for clockwise perambulation of Liberty of Colchester:] [...] down Shett's hill to Newbridge, and then into the fields formerly held by Matthew Ayleward, through a gate a little above the bridge: And so along to the yard formerly of the said Matthew Aylward; cross the river into a meadow folrmerly of the said Matthew Ayleward, and cross that meadow into the lower part of West-fields, near to which is a foot bridge, laid cross the river, called Mott's bridge. And so along through West fields to a gate in a lane at or near the north end of a meadow formerly held by one Samuel Duglet, which lane parts West-fields from Bergholt. And from thence to Buttolph's brook, along the course of which proceed, always [p. 150] leaving the brook upon the left hand, to a bridge, called Thomas Abridge, leading on to Horkesley heath; which bridge is right against the pitch of the hill where an oak called Robin Hood's oak anciently stood. From thence proceed along the road which leads to Nayland, over Horkesley heath to Black brook under Chesterwell; which brook runs across the road at the foot of Horkesley causeway.
Bassingbourn, including the Hamlet of Kneesworth.— North west, west, and south west of the village, is a strong, brown, clayey soil, of a good staple. North-east, east, and south-east of the village, is a brown, deep, loamy soil, lying upon a gravel; thence, in the same direction, beyond the line of Robin Hood's Tree, and extending towards Royston and Litlington, a thin, dry, white soil, upon a chalk or hurrock. The enclosed pastures are an open, brown, gravelly soil, of a good staple. 
[...] If we prefer the figurative meaning of the term larus, as corresponding better with streon, we may suppose that Streoneshalh [i.e. Whitby] derived its name from some greedy plunderer, or pirate, who like Robin Hood in a later era, had his abode in this retired quarter: and, in that case, we must call it Pirate's Bay. At the same time I may add, that if larus can be translated a gaping, as I find it is in an old dictionary, Streoneshalh might be rendered Gaping-Bay, or Open-Bay [...]
Nearer [than Stainton Dale] to Whitby is the inlet called Robin Hood's Bay, in the north-west part of which there is a fishing town of the same name, of a romantic appearance, containing about 1000 inhabitants. The village and bay derive their name from the celebrated outlaw Robin Hood, who is said to have frequented the spot.§ [...]
[Note §:] This Robin Hood (or Robert earl of Huntington) celebrated for his predatory exploits, is said to have died in the year 1247. According to tradition, he and his trusty mate Little John went to dine with one of the abbots of Whitby, and being desired by the abbot to try how far each of them could shoot an arrow, they both shot from the top of the abbey, and their arrows fell on the west side of Whitby Lathes, beside the lane leading from thence to Stainsacre; that of Robin Hood falling on the north side of the lane, and that of Little John about 100 feet further, on the south side of the lane. In the spot where Robin's arrow is said to have lighted stands a stone pillar about a foot square, and 4 feet high; and a similar pillar 2½ feet high, marks the place where John's arrow fell. The fields on the one side are called Robin Hood closes, and those on the other Little John closes. They are so termed in the conveyance, dated in 1713, from Hugh Cholmley, Esq. to John Watson, ancestor to the present proprietor, Mr. Rob. Watson. The tradition is scarcely credible, the distance of those pillars from the abbey being about a mile and a half. Much more incredible is the tradition, that Robin shot an arrow from the height where Stoupe Brow beacon is placed, right across the bay to the town which bears his name; having resolved to build a town where the arrow lighted. To the south of that beacon are two or three tumuli or barrows, called Robin Hood's butts; from a fabulous story of his using them as butts, when he exercised his men in shooting.
Little notice is taken here of May day, or of midsummer; nor is there any day devoted here to Robin Hood, though Robin once lived in our neighbourhood.
But a small portion of the course of the Loxley is within the parish of Sheffield. It rises near the village of Bradfield, and flows through a thinly-peopled country, which in the memory of man was wholly uninclosed and uncultivated, called Loxley-Chase; a district which seems to have the fairest pretensions to be the Locksley of our old ballads, where was born that redoubtable hero Robin Hood. The remains of a house in which it was pretended he was born were formerly pointed out in a small wood in Loxley called Bar-wood, and a well of fine clear water rising near the bed of the river has been called from time immemorial Robin Hood's Well. This well is included within the grounds at Cliff-Rocher, a place not inaptly named by its late proprietor Little-Matlock, as it bears no mean resemblance to some parts of the beautiful valley of Matlock in Derbyshire. The walks which that gentleman cut in the boldest part of the cliff, and along a natural terrace extending to that part of Stannington in which are the chapel and minister's house, were thrown open to the public, and much frequented during several summers by the people of Sheffield.
In the grounds of a most beautiful spot, about four miles from Sheffield, called Little Matlock, (after the famed Matlock in Derbyshire, which it much resembles) is a well which has been named Robin Hood's well from time out of mind, and the ruins of a house are also to be seen, in which it is said that famous marauder first drew his breath. Little Matlock is well worth visiting. There is a house of refreshment at which tea parties may be accommodated. 
Robin Hood's Well [...] a hamlet, partly in the township of Burgh Wallis, parish of Owton, and partly in the township of Skelbrook, parish of Kirkby South, wapentake of Osgoldcross, 7 miles N. W. from Doncaster. This village is situated in what was once Barnsdale Forest, now enclosed, and one of the haunts of the renowned free-booter. The well is a square building, nine feet high, which adjoins the high road; near this place Robin Hood is said to have robbed the Bishop of Hereford, and afterwards compelled him to dance round a tree in his boots.
WRITTEN AT THE GRAVE OF ROBIN HOOD.
Here while I linger near the silent spot
Where Sherwood's hero slumbers in his grave,
O'er which the indeciduous yew doth wave
Its melancholy shade—a peaceful grot—
My mind reverts to days of monkish pride,
Which often trembled at thy bold career;—
Thou rang'dst, with comrades brave, the forest wide,
With well-strung bows, and slew the mountain deer.
The swift-wing'd shaft—sent with unerring eye—
The wild romantic scenes by thee past o'er, [p. 135:]
Long, long shall charm the heart;—but ah, I sigh,
'The age of Chivalry is now no more!'—
Long may this moss-grown stone*—this uncouth strain,
A brief memorial of thy feats remain.
[Note:] * This celebrated outlaw was interr'd in a sequester'd spot in Kirklees Park, about six miles from Halifax, and five from Birstall. The stone [...] is enclosed by a wall and a railing about ten feet in height. Several large yews and forest-trees grow contiguous, which give to the whole a very imposing and romantic appearance.
Beside this crystal font of old
Cooled his flushed brow an outlaw bold
His bow was slackened while he drank,
His quiver rested on the bank,
Giving brief pause of doubt and fear
To feudal lords and forest deer.
Long since the date — but village sires
Still sing his feats by Christmas fires,
And still old England's free-born mood
Stirs at the name of Robin Hood.
On the right side of the road leading to the village of Luddenden there was formerly the remains of an altar, called Robin Hood's Penny Stone, who is said to have used this stone to pitch with at a mark for amusement, and to have thrown the Standing Stone, in Sowerby off an adjoining hill with his spade as he was digging ! Report says that it was surrounded with a circle, but a few years ago this relic of antiquity was broken up for building purposes.
"Nea arcir vir as him sa geud
An pipl kauld him Kobin Heud;
Sic utlauz az he, an iz men,
Vil Inglonde nivr si agen."
A house which some believe to be the oldest in the vicarage, and where tradition says that Robin Hood some time resided; but no other marks of its antiquity appeared in Watson's time, than that the north part of it was studded after the manner of building in former times. It might take its name from the Latin word Callis, which meant a path made by wild beasts in forests and mountains.
A little to the north of the spot where this river [River Loxley] unites with the Rivelin, lies an extensive plain called Loxley Chase, and traditionally pointed out as the birth-place either of Robin Hood, who was sometimes called Locksley, from the place of his birth—or at least one of his followers, whose name in sound if not in spelling is identical with that of the place referred to; though what grounds of identity are traceable between our Hallamshire locality and the "Sweet Locksley [p. 177:] town in merry Nottinghamshire," where, according to the ballad, "bold Robin Hood was born and bred," it would be difficult to say. The question has its interest with ballad-antiquaries: but evidence that proves too much will be received with suspicion—the story, therefore, that some fragments of a building formerly pointed out were the remains of the early dwelling of the Sherwood royster, or the fact that his well is still pointed out in Cliff Rocher, are circumstances rather amusing than elucidatory.
There is a famous spring of water near Nottingham, which has for many centuries been constituted a bath, and is said to be the second coldest in England; it was anciently called "Robin Hood's well.'" 1409, Henry IV. built a chapel here, which was dedicated to "St. Anne;" however, it appears to have been regarded in all past ages more as a place of merriment than of Christian worship, and the sylvan bowers by which it was surrounded were more frequently the scene of youthful recreations and impassioned love, than of solemn prayer, that we can hardly think the new name of "St. Anne" being given to this well, was more appropriate than its more ancient one of "Robin Hood's well." Indeed public custom, as well as opinion, seems to have denounced the sacrilege, and to have preferred the old patron rather than the new saint; for the chapel did not exist here quite 200 years, and after its destruction, on the same site there was erected a public house. The east end of that quondam chapel is now the east end of the house, and a large fire-place occupies the room where once the altar stood; and higher in the wall (according to Mr. Ellis, watchmaker, of this town, ninety years ago), there was a stone with a date engraved upon it, 1409.
The people who kept this public-house had an old wicker chair, which was called Robin Hood's chair, a bow, and an iron cap; these reliques were affirmed to have been the property of the famous Robin Hood, and were said to have been the means of drawing multitudes from curiosity to the place, and procured the mayor's woodward, who kept the public-house there, a deal of custom, especially at Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide, when husbands and fathers took their spouses and children to enjoy the sports of the seasons; also young men led their sweethearts to mix in the busy throng, and, according to tradition, the fair ones thought themselves slighted by their lovers, if they were not forced to sit down, and then be saluted in Robin Hood's chair.
The following is from an old author quoted by Deering, p. 73:
"At St. Anne's well there is a dwelling-house, serving as an habitation for the woodward of those woods, being an officer of the mayor. This house is likewise a victualling-house, having adjoining to it fair summer-houses, bowers, and arbours, covered by the plashing and interweaving of oak boughs for shades, in which are tables of large oak planks, seated about with banks of earth fleightered, and covered with green sods, like green carsie cushions. There is also a building, containing two fair rooms; an upper and lower one, serving for such as repair thither, to retire in case of rain or bad weather thither do the townsmen resort by an ancient custom beyond memory.
"This well is all summer long much frequented, and there are but few fair days, from March to October, in which some company or other of the town, such as use to consort there, use not to fetch a walk to this well, either to dine or sup, or both, some sending their provision to be dressed; others bespeaking what they will have; and when any people of the town have their friends come to them, they are considered to have given them no welcome, unless they entertain them at this well. Beside, there are many meetings of gentlemen, both from the town and county, making choice of this place, rather than the town, for their rendezvous to recreate themselves at, by reason of the sweetness and openness of the air. Where, besides their artificial, they have the natural music of the woods without charge; in the spring, the nightingale, and in the autumn, the woodlark: a bird whose notes for variety and sweetness, are nothing inferior to the former, which, filled with the voices of other birds, like inward parts in song, serve to double I the melodious harmony of those sweet warbling trebles. Here are, likewise, many venison feasts, and such as feed not the sense of taste, with the flesh thereof when dead, yet may fill their sight with those creatures living, which all summer long are picking up weeds in the corn fields and closes; and in winter, and hard weather, gathering sallads in the gardens of such houses as lie north of the town.
"Among other meetings, I may not omit one royal and remarkable assembly at this place, whereof myself was an eye-witness, which was, that it pleased our late sovereign, king James II., in his return from hunting in this forest, to honour this well with his royal presence, ushered by that noble lord Gilbert, earl of Shrewsbury, and attended by others of the nobility, both of the court and country, when they drank the woodward and his barrels dry."
There is every degree of probability that this was a rendezvous for Robin Hood, and his merry men; its situation (observes the author of "Walks round Nottingham," p. 289), must have been peculiarly adapted for it. Its near approximity to the town, rendered intercourse with it of no great difficulty, and the thickness of the forest in this place, formed a secure barrier against attack; and [p. 370:] when we consider the unquiet times of Richard I. and John, and the strong band which the gallant archer commanded, there can be no great wonder excited at the circumstance of his being able to maintain his ground against every antagonist. Several articles said to have belonged to the outlaw, and which for ages had been exhibited here, were purchased in 1827, by Mr. Raynor, the comedian, and introduced into a melo-drama at one of the London theatres.
In latter days the healing virtues attributed to this spring of water, gave it value in the estimation of the holy mother church, and a building was erected here, called St. Anne's chapel, the priests of which demanded a fee of every one using the water. We visited this place 23rd April, 1839, in company with a friend; it was a lovely morning, and resuscitated nature arising from the langour and death-like faintness of steril winter was assuming her gayest attire, every flower, every leaf, every opening bud of rarer trees, and even the unheeded thorn, sent forth the sweetest aroma, and filled the air with perfume. Arriving at the humble cottage, there were the lofty hills and the lovely valley, but where where the coppice? The well is there, it is a bath, and has a dressing room, both excavated out of the rock; the spring is as strong, and the water as clear as in the days of Henry IV. or bold Robin Hood; but where are the sylvan bowers the umbrageous glens, and all the gay delights and laughing pleasures of woodland scenery? they are gone — and gone for ever.
There is the same cottage called "St. Anne's,'" but it is not the residence of the mayor's woodward now; a widow of the name of Lucy Picard inhabits it, who entertains parties at very moderate charges; there is a very fine large room with board floor, detached from the cottage, in which nearly one hundred people might take tea or dinner. In consequence of sabbath breaking, fights and tumults so often happening, it was found expedient to remove the license in 1825, and there is now nothing intoxicating sold on the premises; there is a delightful garden and pleasure ground, in which the company are allowed to walk, and there are swings for young people to amuse themselves; but the rarest object of attraction is the ingeniously formed maze cut out in the green sward. Hence the party, whether girl or boy, who undertakes to run the Shepherd's Race, must run, or they would fall or tread upon the grassy side, which is to lose the race, and the constant turning and winding about of the path-way awakens the utmost vigilance in the breast of the earnest aspirant of youthful fame. No sight is more pretty or engaging than to behold six or eight [p. 371:] young girls and boys running at the same moment the varying am seemingly interminable windings of the Shepherd's Race.
Look up an' let the evemen light
But sparkle in thy eyes so bright
As thāe be oben to the light
O' zunzet in the west
An' lè's stroll here var hafe an hour
Wher hangèn boughs damiake a bow'r
Upon theōs bank wi' eltrot flow'r
An' Robinhoods a-drest.
There is an Unitarian Chapel at Stannington; and an old Independent Chapel at Loxley, near which is the romantic Cliffe Rocher, or Little Matlock, in the heart of Loxley Chase, now enclosed, and said to have been one of the haunts, if not the birth-place, of Robin Hood.
[1845:] Tradition says Little John, the famed gigantic companion of Robin Hood, 'lies buried in the church-yard [of Hathersage Church], with one stone at his head, and another at his feet,' and that his bow was hanging up in the church in 1652.
The picturesque effect, the magnitude, and the beautiful architecture of these ruins are not their only claim on our attention. They powerfully appeal to the mind by their association with ages past, the palmy days of monastic prosperity — the abbey, a place of learning when all around was ignorance &hdash; exercising an unbounded influence over the minds of men, when dominion elsewhere was held by force — entire in its magnificence, "when the castles of the nobility were dungeons, and the mansions of the gentry little better than hovels." Even a favourite legend of our boyhood has its locality here; and if we should task imagination to restore this roofless and tenantless pile, and people it with grave Cistercians, habited in coarse white robes and long black hoods, some gayer person- [p. 27:] ages in Lincoln green might intrude upon the scene, and the foreground be enlivened by the aquatic adventure of Robin Hood, and the merry outlaws' encounter with the Curtal Friar and the Ban-Dogs of Fountains.
Now, all attention is naturally centered in the abbey, and fortunately, there is nothing intervening to distract the eye. We begin, immediately, to hasten down a precipice, arched, [p. 89:] deeply and picturesquely, in the woods; and, on arriving at the path by the side of the stream, will perhaps scarcely glance the diversity of scenes which the union of the dense woods with their liquid mirror presents.
Yet awhile may fancy beguile us with merry visions of the past. On this glade — doubt who can — the "Curtal Friar" of Fountains encountered Robin Hood, whom, as the old ballad goes, he at length threw into the Skell, and so grievously belaboured, that Robin, for once, turned coward, and called in the aid of his fifty stalwart yeomen; also that then the Friar, who
"Had kept Fountain-dale,
Seven long years and more,"
was brought to his senses and a truce. Before we reach the abbey, we shall be reduced to halt on a shady knoll; and, while reclining by the crystal Well that still bears the Outlaw's name, may chant the "Rime of Robin Hood" in one of the sweetest spots associated with his name.
Tradition points to the figures of a large bow and arrow and hound, graven on the north-east angle of the Lady Chapel, as a record of this dire affray. They bear no affinity to the symbols used by the masons; but have, I fancy, induced the report, mentioned in Ritson, that Robin's bow and arrow were preserved at Fountains Abbey.
The narrow winding lane, which was formerly the bed of the Scire-beck, and still is the boundary between Boston and Skirbeck, is first mentioned in the corporation Records as Robin Hood's Walk, in 1640. We do not know the origin of this name.
In the south of Ireland, and other places, when a murder has been committed, every person who passes the spot is under an obligation to leave a stone, and the custom being continued for an indefinite time, a considerable heap is generally raised. It once happened that a man of brutal disposition, resident in a town, wantonly slew a number of persons who passed his house singing and shouting for their amusement. The blow, which was probably not intended to kill, proved fatal; the murderer escaped the punishment of the law, but for many weeks was obliged to keep a labourer in regular, occasional employment, to remove cairns from before his door. Some provinces of Spain have a similar custom, but to take the words of the writer, the stone is there thrown on the grave. On the borders of Gallicia, says an English traveller, are found heaps of stones. Every Gallician who goes out of the province to seek work, either going or returning, throws a stone on the heap.
We thus come to a curious nutting custom of Westmorland, connected with no less personages than Robin Hood and Little John. In the neighbourhood of Orton are two heaps of stones, under which it is believed the outlaw of Sherwood Forest and his lieutenant, are buried. It was once customary for every person who went a nutting in the wood, at the south end of which these heaps are situated, to throw a stone on Robin's grave, repeating the following rhyme:
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, here lie thy bones,Whoever was the original of this famous outlaw, and whether he was properly Robin of the Wood, or Robin with the Hood, his name is now connected with mounds and stones innumerable in various parts of England. Lancashire has made him a giant, and [p. 131:] given him Blackstone Edge for a bed. Barrows in many places are called Robin Hood's butts. He has become a favourite ballad hero, and has been worked up with the celebration of the May festival; in Westmorland, as we see, he is the patron of nutters. And, in short, too much popularity has converted him, according to the view of critical investigators, into a myth. Near the village of Catterlen, in a retired part of the wood, is a spring called Robin Hood's well, but how it acquired the name is not now known.
Load me with nuts as I load thee with stones.
May-eve was formerly celebrated in this district with the Beltain, at which green branches were borne, a Scandinavian rite, apparently, superadded to the Celtic fire worship. The latter custom identifies itself with the Jack in the Green of the London sweeps, the intention having been to celebrate at this season, when Nature is awakening from the chaotic sleep of Winter, the myth of the creation. The singular sign called the Green Man, who is now [p. 166:] represented as wearing bright green, Robin Hood-like clothes, originated in the May festival. And the name of Maybrough, which, unlike that of its neighbour, the Round Table, is not modern, identifies that structure with the ceremonies of the same time.
The scenery readily accessible from Askerne is pleasing, but not very romantic. There are several places in the [p. 115:] neighbourhood that may be visited — among others, Campsall; Burgh Wallis and Adwick-le-Street, both of which have old monuments in their churches; and Robin Hood's Well, an insignificant hamlet, named after a well by the side of the turnpike, which tradition has associated with the name of the renowned freebooter.
The word How, Danish—a hill, is generally significant of a mound, but is often applied to the whole, as Sill How, Raise How, Bousfield How, How Arcles, How Neuk and How Robin; on each of which are mounds. Raise is an older word of similar meaning, and is applied more directly to a mound, as Raise How on Bank Moor. This name is more common in the neighbourhood of Shap. Pen, of Cambro-Celtic origin, having the same meaning, is found in Penhurrock. Others again bear the ordinary name of Hill, as Iren Hill, Round Hill, &c. Though these mounds have been raised by different people each in their day, yet they are often found to have been named or rather called Hills by whatever word in the language or dialect of the succeeding races expressed the same. Others again there are bearing names peculiar to themselves, as Iren Hill, Sill How, Hollinstump, Penhurrock, Robin Hood's Grave, Lady's Mound, &c. Though they are numerous, yet many of them have been opened by the hill-breakers of the last [p. 13:] century, or been more or less ravaged for the sake of stones, earth, &c.; for this reason it is difficult to distinguish those belonging to different ages, though it is highly probable the great majority are British.
Robin Hood's Grave is an oblong mound, seven yards by three. It is situated at the bottom of a narrow rocky dell at the head of Crosby Gill, where the footpath from Orton to Crosby enters the woods, once the chase of Sir Lancelot Threlkeld. It is noticed by Mr. Sullivan in his "Cumberland and Westmorland," but he speaks of two heaps: this is, however, a mistake, there being only one. Of this mound he says "It was once customary for every person who went a-nutting in the wood, at the south end of which this heap is situated, to throw a stone on Robin's grave, repeating the following rhyme:—
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, here lie thy bones;
Load me with nuts as I load thee with stones."
Whoever was the original of the famous outlaw, and whether he was properly Robin of the Wood or Robin with the Hood, his name is now connected with mounds and stones innumerable in various parts of England, On [p. 16:] Ploverigg Edge are two large stones, known as Robin Hood's Chair and Punch Bowl; in short, too much popularity has converted him, according to the view of critical investigation, into a myth. Probably the well-known rhyme of schoolboy notoriety may be in allusion also to the famed outlaw of Sherwood Forest:—
Robin a Ree, Robin a Ree, if I let thee deeIf I sud set Robin a Ree to dee:
Many sticks, many steanes be heaped o' my weary beanes
This game is usually attendant on bonfires, near which, those joining the game stand in a row; the first then takes a fiery stick, and whirling it round and round repeats the rhyme, then handing it to the next, who repeats it, and so on till the stick dies out; the unfortunate individual, in whose hand this happens, is then at the mercy of the grimy sticks and wet sods of his companions.
Not far from Robin Hood's Grave is a spring known as "King's Well," which is supposed to bear its royal title from being visited by King Henry VII.; but of this we have no more reliable proof than we have that Robin Hood's remains lie beneath the mound, which, on being opened, was found to contain only an old sheep's skull.
Sigsworth Grange is the last of the monastic farms, and was valued at the dissolution at 100s. per annum. It is situated on a ridge of land overlooking the rugged, wild wood clad glen of Doubergill, also commanding a fine view of the valley towards Bewerley and Guy's-cliffe. The present house and buildings are all modern; in an enclosure a short distance to the westward are traces of the foundation of a building which appears to have been composed of large stones; a great part of which has been removed for the purpose of forming fence walls. A field adjoining, full of native rocks, bears the name of "Robin Hood's Park." A spring of pure water in the wood below, is called "Robin Hood's Well." How singular to find the renowned outlaw's name asociated with places so remote from his general haunts; but as he loved to chase the deer of the monks as well as those of the king, he certainly might enjoy that sport in Nidderdale, where deer were plentiful at a much later period than that in which he lived. It is also pleasing to contemplate the outlaw quenching his thirst at this rock-born fountain.
Beside this crystal fount of old,
Cool'd his flush'd brow — an outlaw bold;
His bow was slackened while he drank,
His quiver rested on the bank,
Giving brief pause of doubt and fear,
To feudal lords and forest deer: —
Long since the date, but village sires,
Still sing his feats by Christmas fires;
And still old England's free born mood,
Stirs at the name of Robin Hood."
We now reach Little Matlock, one of the most romantic and picturesque scenes in the neighbourhood of Sheffield, a place to which, it is said, Robin Hood and Little John used frequently to resort. At the bottom of the valley, near the bed of the river, were the tilts and forges of Messrs. Chapman, and of Mrs. Denton, and also a row of strongly-built and good-looking stone houses inhabited by the Chapmans. The grounds of Little Matlock, and the Rock Inn, lie above, on the precipitous and finely wooded declivity of a steep hill, a scene of beauty unsurpassed in the neighbourhood, and which in summer attracts thousands of visitors to enjoy the sequestered walks, to ramble among the rocks, or to descend into the beautiful valley where the river Loxley ripples and foams along in its rocky and shady bed.
The view from the mountain ridges presents a wild and rugged country seldom traversed by the tourist, but abounding in beautiful and picturesque scenery. Miss Bronte's word-pictures of these purple-heathered moorlands and upland valleys will be familiar to most readers. Here the geologist, in particular, may find ample interest. The millstone grit, the Cobling coal pit, the cold springs, the lateral valleys, the scattered boulders each has a history for him. He traces the cold water to the hidden reservoir, the formation of the valleys to the remote glacial period, the coal to some great dislocation, and so on. Miss Bronte gives a vivid and truthful description of the scenery about Haworth and Stanbury: "In winter nothing more dreary, in summer nothing more [p. 153:] divine, than those glens shut in by hills, and those bluff, bold swells of heath."
A few more names and our list closes. We have in the Stanbury district, Spring Dikes, Jarnel, Jarnel Washfold, Silver Hill (900 feet high), Churn Hole, Rushy Grough, Old Snap (residence of the Heatons), Whitestone Clough, Ponden Slack (1100 feet high), Height Lathe, Clogger Wood, Ponden, Ponden Waters, Clough and Beck, Upper Ponden, Rush Isles, Round Intake, Slack, Far and Near Slacks, Birch Brink, Raven Rock, Robin Hood's Well, Ponden Kirk, Kirk Brink, Waterfalls, Heather Hole and Brink, Bracken Hill, Buckley, Buckley Green, Duke Top, Cony Garth, Cold Knole End, and Royds Hall, reaching Toller Lane again, which passes through Stanbury and Haworth. At Ponden Bridge is a cotton mill. Griff Mill (worsted), completes this wild list.
Visitors [to Kirklees Hall, Brighouse] will be pleased to see two old coaches in the coach-house. These are about 200 years old, and the iron rims instead of being complete circles are fixed around the wheels in sections. The carriages were adapted for fording rivers. At the marriage celebration of the Prince of Wales, 1803, they formed a special feature of the Brighouse procession. The coachmen and others were dressed in imitation of [p. 205:] Robin Hood and his men.
Soon after leaving Whitchurch, we had two Fellows of [a] college, and they made a proposition to Joe Stephens, the coachman, that a verse of poetry extempore was to be made before they reached the Chequers Inn, Whitway, and if his was the best composition, they would give him [a] double fee. They were not long in repeating their verse. Not so with Stephens, for he was a long time thinking of his. We had reached the Common, and [were] within a 100 yards of the Chequers, when Stephens said, 'Gentlemen, I am ready,' –two pigs feeding on the green, belonging to Mr. Perkins, no doubt gave him the idea:
Mr. Perkins had two pigs,
As fine as one another;
Robin Wood1 was one's name.
Little John the other.'
'Bravo, Stephens ! You have fairly beaten us, and you shall have the double fee with pleasure.'
There are several wild glens [on the hill above the village of Lofthouse] which well reward the explorer; Wath woods and waterfalls near Pateley Bridge on the Doubergill beck, near which we found a trace of Robin Hood ; a rocky field not far from Sigsworth Grange is called Robin Hood's Park, and a spring in the wood below Robin Hood's Well.
The neighbourhood of Hunt Yard has been strangely altered since the commencement of the present [i.e. 19th] century. When the old road from Bradford to Halifax, by way of Silsbridge Lane, Green Lane, Toby Lane, Scarr Lane, was the chief highway, there was an open space at Hunt Yard, used in later times by the surveyors for a dross hill. Excepting an old hostelry there were only two or three dwellings in Hunt Yard. According to the evidence of an inscribed stone still preserved, the old hostelry was erected in 1622, the sign being the "Robin Hood and Little John." The building was pulled down in 1800 for the erection of more modern dwellings. The original cellars, however, remain, and are arched, and in an underground recess there are several stone pillars which supported the old building. A portion of the original walling is above a yard in thickness. There used to be an old building connected with this hostelry called "Brick Castle", in which travellers were lodged; the beds of oak being built into the walls. Altogether, the "Robin Hood" was a noted house when the old Scarr Lane passed in front of it. It was at a "hen drinking" in this house, in which the murderer of "Fair Rebecca" took part, that her ghost, it is said, first appeared.
Blackstone Edge [...] Robin Hood's Bed.
To Seven Arches and back by the Ridge, 7 m. 'Bus may be taken as far as the Beckett's Arms, Meanwood, whence l[eft]. through fields and wood to Scotland Mill, in the picturesque Meanwood valley. The old mill is now a bleach works, but was formerly a flax mill. Beyond, in the distance, is Meanwood Forest, the haunt, in the Middle Ages, of the wild boar, the badger, and wolf; at the foot of which is the ancient Smithy mill, now used for grinding corn. Above this we come to the Seven Arches, a favourite resort of artists. Mr. Gilbert Foster once drew a representation of the view of the valley from this point, which was admirably displayed on the stage of the Grand Theatre in Leeds. The lofty aqueduct was formerly used to convey the town's water across the valley. The return journey can now be made over Woodhouse Ridge and the Moor, wide views being obtainable from the upland walk; the finest, perhaps, being that from the top walk of the Ridge, going towards Batty Wood. It was here that the bold outlaw, Robin Hood, threw down 'the glove' to the lord of the manor and his men, and then, it is said, there was a "merry scene."
At the top of Trench Wood, on entering the Glen there is a large stone with a bowl-shaped cavity, called from time immemorial Robin Hood's Seat. This designation is, of course, purely mythical, many such curious stones and other remarkable objects in our part of the country being associated in some fanciful way or other with this famous mediaeval outlaw. It may just as well have been the judgment-seat of some Druid priest or chief, or even (if credence may go so far) a holy basin for the retention of water in which leaves of the sacred oak were dipped and borne, as we are told, in processionals to the festal altars.* Similar stones are found elsewhere in our district near Druidical temples.
The natives of these parts [the village of Ponden] have a saying: "Let's go to Ponden Kirk, where they wed odd uns," which has its origin in an old custom of passing parties through a hole, capable of admitting only one at a time, that exists in the enormous boulder called 'Ponden Kirk,' near to the waterfall so named. The belief is that if you pass through it you will never die single! Not far from the rock is a spring called Robin Hood's Well.
Steeton to Ilkley, 7½ m., or Addingham, 7 m. by Holden Gill. This is a charming 'round about' trip. The visitor from Silsden may go through Brunthwaite and up the road direct under Crag Wood Quarry to Gill Grange 2 m[iles]. From Steeton directly after the Aire bridge is crossed go over a narrow stone bridge across Silsden beck and through the fields in the direction of Holden Wood. When the lane is entered at Holden Ho[use]., turn l[eft]., a short ¼ m[ile]. and enter a stile on r[ight]. where path leads up to the canal, which here goes over the Holden beck on a single arch. This is a pleasant spot, and a favourite one with naturalists. Turn r[ight]. and cross the canal bridge up to the Park farms, where teas and refreshments may be had. From these houses the road may be ascended to the top of the open moor at Robin Hood's Chair, near Holden Gate, or at its divergence r[ight]. there is a private gate-way into Holden Wood [...]
Kildwick to Elslack, 6 m[iles]. For sweet air and good views this is a capital outing over Glusburn Moor (800 ft.) Leaving the station on the south side by a short field path on r[ight]. ascend the moor, having Mr. Petty's turreted mansion hanging above Airedale on r[ight]. with Robin Hood's Seat and Flasby Fell away in the distance. Descend past Upper Leys farm to the four-lane ends, where just above the plantation is a large artificial earthwork in the form of a circular camp. It is probably Danish. Keep straight up Baby Ho[use]. lane over Carlton moor by a narrow band of mountain limestone, which ascends to Park Head quarry, where glacial drift is seen resting upon the limestone at an altitude of 1050 ft. The road passes the quarry to a second four-lane ends. Here there is an old dated (1730) milestone: to Skipton 4 m[iles]., to Colne 8 m[iles]., &c., and the prospect from the (Elslack) moorland eminence just above is one of immense variety and extent, including Pendle, Boulsworth. Embsay Crag, Rylstone Fell, due N. the cones of Flasby, and beyond them the flat top of Ingleboro.
We'll [... p. 35:] strike round the sharp bend of the stream, and cross it, and continue along the further bank. We are on the first of the bogland now. There are patches of vivid green that yield to pressure of the foot with a spongy, gurgling subsidence. All full of little rills and rivulets the moor is, and there are wider patches of peat among the heather clumps. Half hidden underground, and fringed with fern and bog-weed, lie the three wells which go by the names of Robin Hood, Little John, and Will Scarlet. One may stop to ask how they came by their birth-names, to wonder why a man should have troubled to fashion them in this out-of-the-way spot; but neither speculation nor questioning of the moor folk brings one nearer to an answer. No house is here, nor even a shepherd's hut; yet the wells have been built for a definite use in some far-buried time. And the names? The springs are so called in old maps, and could not have been christened by any modern whose intercourse with the outer world was wider than that of the upland folk aforetime. Robin Hood one might understand, for [p. 36:] his name has long been current coin in the North; but how came Little John and Will Scarlet so glibly to the moorland tongue? Well Sherwood Forest is not so far away as the crow flies, and Hathersage, where Little John's grave is – where, by the way, the lady of quality who gave Jane Eyre her name lies buried also – Hathersage must have been joined to Haworth by a well-nigh unbroken sweep of moor. There was a wide manory about Skipton then, and as fat deer in it ever as roamed through Sherwood; Robin and his merry men found a change of scene convenient at times; and their safest route to Skipton would lie straight over the moor here, and across the valley this side of Oakworth, and on into the dale of Aire. It may well have been that Lincoln green lightened, more than once, the soberer livery of the heather; that plover and eagle screamed a fugitive defiance to the horn's challenge; that the long-bow of yew, and the merry wanderers who fitted the wild-goose feather to the shaft, were honoured guests among the ruder fathers of the moor. Ay, and men of his own kidney would honest Robin find — hard-muscled fellows who could bend a bow with the best, who held lax views as to equality of rights in feathered game and furred; for they were sportsmen ever in Haworth parish.
It suits the flavour of old Bingley, too, this rough-and-tumble recklessness, which wore a grim front and hid something of a laughing heart behind it; and we move again, with no perceptible transition, among the wool-combers who peopled every cottage between the river-bridge and the old church. Hard times they are said to have been; but, measured by happiness rather than by comfort, they were fairer days than ever the working man will see again. Hard times? Nay, not in Haworth parish, nor in Bingley here. Food might be coarse, cottages scantily furnished — but what mattered it when half the men's days were spent out of doors, when sport and laughter and rough revelry brought back for awhile a flavor of old Robin Hood to an age that was so soon to settle into colourless sobriety?
The star-loving Shepherd Lord [Henry, 10th Lord Clifford (1454-1523)], whose father had been wedded to the shambles, is followed in his turn by a son whose tastes are remote at once from study of the stars and from blood-thirstiness. A buck, a robber of abbots, a gipsy ne'er-do-weel, in his younger days, this eleventh Lord of Skipton [Henry, 11th Lord Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland (1493-1542)]. He was educated with Henry the Eighth when both were pleasure-loving youths; and the [p. 220:] King's jovial friendship led him into revelries which, as the Shepherd Lord laments in one of the saddest letters ever a father penned, were little in keeping with the means of a poor baron's son. Then our gallant, unable to keep up his expenditure in any other way, turned Robin Hood, gathered a band of like-minded youths about him, and kept the countryside awake. Monasteries, fat villages, stray travellers — all was fish that came to their net. But most of all they loved to hunt the fallow deer, and young Clifford's reputation as an archer was known as far as London town.
Then he [Henry, 11th Lord Clifford, 1st Earl of Cumberland (1493-1542)], in his turn, gave place to George, his eldest son [Henry, 12th Lord Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland (1517-1570)], who was destined to add a new and dazzling lustre to the Clifford pomp. Soldiers had lifted the family honour high; it had known a shepherd warrior, and a Robin Hood; but not until this thirteenth lord came to reign at Skipton had it boasted a sailor among its sons.
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