Robin Hood’s Grave, Kirklees Park (Part Two)

STOP PRESS: My book “Grave Concerns: The Follies and Folklore of Robin Hood’s Final Resting Place” has now been published by CFZ Press. It examines the history and legend surrounding Robin Hood’s grave at Kirklees in great depth. More information can be found here and the book can be purchased by clicking here.

Link to Part One

Located in the dense woodland of Kirklees Park, the site of Robin Hood’s Grave has always been a locus of superstition and myth. Whilst in recent years, the stories have become more lurid, the earliest tales recall some of the most venerable traditions of British folklore. In his 1730 work, The Ancient and Modern History of the Famous City of York, Thomas Gent claims that in years gone by the gravestone was removed by one of the local gentry for use as the hearthstone in his manor. However, on the morning following its installation it was discovered “turned aside,” something that occurred on three successive occasions until it was returned to its original position. Meanwhile, the reason the stone was enclosed by railings in the late 18th Century was to deter navvies working in the area from taking chippings from the stone, which they believed worked as a cure for toothache.

Such stories are very similar to those attached to numerous prehistoric standing stones and other megalithic sites across Western Europe, leading some to speculate that the original stone of Robin Hood’s Grave may have been a much earlier monolith which was adapted to a new tradition. This process is not uncommon in the Calderdale region, where a number of ancient geomantic sites have become associated with the outlaw, who is sometimes regarded by folklorists as a medieval folk-memory of a pre-Christian deity. One such example is Robin Hood’s Penny Stone, a rocking stone at the centre of a lost stone circle near Wainstalls, that local folklore holds was thrown there by Robin from across the valley. He is often portrayed as a giant of enormous strength in legends of the region, which supports the notion that older pagan legends have been transposed into his name.

The first published hint of a long-standing local belief in darker supernatural forces around the grave comes from Land of Lost Content: The Luddite Revolt by Robert Reid, in which the author writes: “The Armytage family lived over the brow of the hill on a splendid site once occupied by Cistercian nuns. It was called Kirklees. There was more than an insularity which set the mansion apart. There was a mystery about it which local people only reluctantly tried to penetrate. The mystery was helped physically by the thick shroud of trees that surrounded the place and was sustained by local tales of ghosts of prioresses and nuns and or the death of Robin Hood whose grave is so imperturbably marked as lying within Kirklees grounds in spite of any facts which might suggest to the contrary.” This has become a much quoted passage and appears to have greatly influenced subsequent belief attached to the site.

A number of local stories concerning apparent paranormal activity in the area have been collected over the years. One of the earliest oral recollections dates to 1923 when John Hill, a tenant farmer living in the gatehouse where Robin is supposed to have died, returned from a nearby pub one night and reports to have seen a shadowy figure wielding a bow in the upstairs window. In another account, local musician Roger Williams claims to have been walking through the woods near the grave when he encountered the apparition of a woman with mad, staring eyes on two occasions in 1963 and 1972. Then there is the testimony of journalists Judith Broadbent and Sue Ellis who visited the grave to write a feature for Yorkshire Life. Whilst there, Broadbent experienced the sensation of being pulled to the ground and immediately afterwards, Ellis was seized by a mysterious paralysis which lasted for weeks.

However, things get much murkier when the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society enters the equation. The Society was founded in 1984 by local resident Barbara Green and over the years they have tirelessly campaigned for access to the grave, much to the chagrin of landowner Lady Armytage. Facing repeated obstruction in their reasonable desire to visit the site, its members were forced to engage in trespass and whilst this was a last resort, the parallels with Robin’s own behaviour in the face of aristocratic opposition were not lost on them. In this correspondence there is a hint of a phenomenon academic folklorists have dubbed ostension, whereby an individual closely associates themselves with a legend, often to the extent of re-enacting its narrative. The Society’s attempts to promote the grave increasingly became a crusade against class privilege and the ensuing lack of diplomacy on both sides served to muddy the waters further.

The majority of supernatural activity recorded at the grave in the past two decades comes from Barbara Green herself and other members of her organisation. As president of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society, she would already have been well acquainted with the rumours surrounding the grave and quite probably the passage from Land of Lost Content. Moreover, not only have many of her visits been illicit and in the dead of night, but Green is also a believer in the paranormal. It’s not too disingenuous to suggest that these facts may have coloured her perception of the site and her claims must be treated accordingly. One such example is her account of a night in April 1990 when she was holding a vigil at the grave, only to be overcome by a profound sense of dread and see a red-headed man accompanied by a black shape amongst the trees, which she speculates may have been the spirits of the Prioress and her lover, Red Roger of Doncaster.

However, Green’s experiences look positively sensible when compared to the assertions of Reverend Sean Manchester and the case of the Kirklees Vampire. Manchester is an ordained priest and an alleged descendant of Lord Byron, but perhaps he is more notorious as the United Kingdom’s most prominent and apparently entirely sincere vampire hunter. He rose to tabloid fame in the early 1970s during the infamous Highgate Vampire hysteria and his feud with rival investigator David Farrant which was at the centre of those events persists today. It seems Manchester had already identified Robin Hood’s Grave as a potential source of vampiric activity, arguing that both the outlaw and his murderer could be candidates for the undead. The former because he had been buried in unhallowed ground and the latter due to the means by which she’d dispatched her troublesome cousin.

It is therefore hardly surprising that when Manchester made his visit to the grave – coincidentally also in April 1990 – he claims to have found all the signs of a vampire infestation. These included occult symbols scrawled on the gatehouse; the mutilated carcass of a goat in the woods, seemingly drained of blood; and claw marks in the earth around the grave itself. Whilst they were at the grave, Manchester writes that he and his fellow “researchers” heard a terrifying wailing sound and one of his companions claimed to have seen the spectre of a darkly-clad woman who suddenly turned into a crimson-eyed demon. The self-styled vampire hunter then proceeded to drive back these forces of darkness, bearing his crucifix aloft and intoning “Behold the Light!”, dousing the area around the grave with holy water before they left. His account of the incident can be found in his Vampire Hunter’s Handbook.

Barbara Green invited Manchester to act as the patron of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society, a role he held until the two fell out over Green’s refusal to expel a member who Manchester believed to be a Satanist. In what was surely a calculated snub, when Green relaunched the Society in recent years, Manchester’s arch-enemy David Farrant had taken over the role of patron. Since this time, Manchester has attempted to discredit Green (and naturally, Farrant) at every opportunity, even going to the extent of denying that he had ever propagated the myth of the Kirklees Vampire, despite that chapter in his book. Meanwhile, Green is satisfied that all paranormal activity at the grave has ceased since an exorcism performed there with Farrant and others on 20th April 2005. One suspects, however, that the centuries-old reputation of the site and the internecine squabbles of its would-be protectors will not be laid to rest so easily.

35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is a reaonable summary of the situation. However, I did not intend to annoy Lady Armytage by my researches, both historical and later paranormal. It is all very well for certain people to be holier than thou who have been invited and allowed to the sites, and say how wonderful it is that they are not on the tourist track, and be thus charmed in more ways than one. Other people who have a legitimate interest and are snubbed, take a less rosy view, considring the circumstances of the Armytage inheritance and what has been lost or sold since Sir John died. After several years of asking politely for a visit and getting fobbed off, while the likes of Tony Robinson and American professors are invited over, not to mention the Calderale Council cap dofferss, I mAke no apology.


    • Thanks Barbara. I’m glad you approve as it’s a tangled area (literally and metaphorically!) and I’m coming to it rather late. I have to confess to being rather fortunate in that when I was growing up, a family friend used to work on the estate and hence I was able to visit the grave unimpeded on several occasions. However, I firmly believe the public should be granted permanent access to the site and I can quite understand why in the face of continued obstruction from Lady Armytage your society adopted the strategies it did. Due to my academic pretensions, I try to be as neutral as possible when writing and from a dispassionate, purely scholarly perspective, it is at least interesting to observe how the lack of access and subsequent campaign has contributed to the body of folklore. Do you know if the access situation is likely to change now Lady Armytage has passed away?

  2. Hi there,

    no I am sorry I dont, when I asked I was told to go away and mind my own business. There was no wish from the start 1884, to antagonise anyone and start world war 111 but contined obsruction and ignoring both from Yorkshire authrorities and wider afield made us wonder if there was nore to the matter than we figured.

    You sound to have nost of the story anyway, but it wasnt to do something imitating RH RE THE GRAVE, BUT AT THE TIME WE SAW THE SIMILARITIES!

    BEST Barbara

  3. sorry thee are few errors there, of couse 1984!


  4. Sorry, last night I forgot the mention a few things. Maybe this should be in a private e mail but I am not sure where to contact you! Here to start with are some other spooky places–The OLD FEVER HOSPITAL, Thornhills Lane, Rydings Hall Surgery, Church Lane, THE Hanson Lane Bomb site of which I have photos, a church in Halifax, the Town Hall, a house on Gooder Lane.

    Re my experience at RHG, my doctor had prescribed me some tablets for a heart condition, they were to calm it down and stop it racing(I am permanent meds now of a different sort) I wasnt keen to take these meds, the first lot as theyw ere really tranquillizors so after a couple of weeks or so I binned them, when I should have reduced them, this sudden withdrawel is what precipitated a terryfying anxiety attack which happened
    at the graveside and maybe a “rational” explanation fro what I experienced.It really was horrendous I had no idea what a real full blown anxiety attack was till then, it doesnt sound anything too bad if you havent actually had one.

    The other thing I must make comment on is this other condition you described, I forget the word, it truly wasn’t anything like that. The YRHS spent at least 5 years writing politely to Lady A ASKING FOR A GROUP VISIT,we were fobbed off and then ignored and finally I was personally threatened over the phone by her other gamekeeper, not the present one(that old one eventually got sacked I think) to buzz off and stop being such a nuisance and denials that a visit had been promised, which is had been at the start and then not honoured, each year she was “too busy”. This applied to other people also, who wrote and phoned me thinking I could organise them a visit.

    Local people have always gone up to the grave so finally that is what we did. When we heard all the posh or “important”people were allowed access of course we were miffed. So okay we did get a bit infected with the spirit of Robin Hood–it was exciting trespassing and we felt we had a right to show our respects, even if some people deny his existence there are plenty of other bodies on the hillside, outside the consecrated grounds of the nunnery.

    When the paranormal connections started flooding in, as well as the vampire stuff, I just took that into the situation without worrying if it annoyed anyone, though having asked the Church to bless the land and they been angrily refused by Kirklees, this only added fuel to the “black magic” fire.

    However, had we been treated with some respect from the start, maybe things would have worked out differently
    to everyone’s satisfaction, but I certainly did not call the shots. I had been Sir John’s district nurse for over a year before he died, and often been asked to go up to help with his care when I was off duty. I didn’t know anything about the grave at the time, he was just a patient like any other–but I like local history and became intrested. This care I gave to someone at the end of their life was obviously of no account when I was no longer needed–well I suppose thats nowt fresh, many people aren’t grateful for what you do, but happily many more are.I have always tried to be kind and respect people and their privacy but in return I would expect people, however “important” they think they are( and Lady A was only a farmers daughter in Germany before she was a nanny to the Kirklees household and later Sir John’s wife), well, sorry to have rambled but thought I ought to just explain that situation,lots of people, particularly some American professors or those who had “got into” the Kirklees scenario by othe means, have them made out I am this horrid woman being nasty to Lady A,WHO YOU KNOW PASSED AWAY 2 YEARS ago, but things are still sort of stitched up there as far as I know.Hope that puts the recor straight, if you want info on the other places please let me know.


    • Thanks Barbara. I shall change some of the wording in the article to reflect what you’ve told me in my next site edit. I’ll especially clarify that your original aim was simply to be allowed access to the grave rather than to emulate Robin, although as soon as you became aware of the parallels with his actions and mentioned this in print, it still qualifies as “ostension”, as this term refers to cases where aspects of a legend are reenacted and it does not necessarily have to be consciously so.

      I would definitely be interested in hearing more about the haunted locations you mention. The Fever Hospital, Rydings Hall Surgery, Gooder Lane and the Town Hall would all be very relevant for inclusion here. The Hanson Lane bomb site and Halifax church are a little outside the remit for inclusion, but I would be interested in hearing them nonetheless. My email address is moths.galore(NO_SPAM) Make sure to remove the brackets and NO_SPAM clause. That’s just a precaution to confuse spambots.

  5. Many thanks again. I really must get on with my garden instead of sitting computering. I had a lovely walk with my dog round Shibden Park, another haunted house!I’ll e mail you later with the other stories, though some is nothing more than what I have heard, but then so are most ghost stories. We must also have got that ostension thingy at the Notts Medieval Market when some elderly men in green tights reported us to the sheriff for selling goods with Robin Hood of Yorkshire! We were threatened with deportation, if not worse!

    Well I am going to shut down now, until this evening, so fare well, and thanks for listening and not doing a dickipoggy tantrum at me like those American professors and others!

    ps Have you heard Russell Crowe trying to “talk Yorkshire”–he sounds like Wilfred Pickles!



  6. Seán Manchester is an ordained priest, as correctly pointed out, but, since October 1991, he has also been a consecrated bishop who, if a description is to be given, should be styled the “Right Reverend Seán Manchester” or titled “Bishop Seán Manchester.”

    Seán Manchester rose to prominence on 27 February 1970 when he appeared across the front page of the Hampstead & Highgate Express in a headline article titled “Does A Wampyr Walk In Highgate?” On 13 March 1970 he featured in a television report about Highgate Cemetery which attracted enormous response throughout the world media. Since then he has made literally hundreds of radio and television broadcasts.

    “Claw marks in the earth around the grave” were not suggested by Seán Manchester. Tiny perforations, however, were discovered. He has never conclusively identified the mysterious goings-on at Kirklees as being the work of a vampire. Superficial evidence of possible vampiric activity nevetheless existed in the period prior to his visit. While the mystery remains unidentified and indeed unresolved, the phenomenon is generally regarded by most people to be malevolent.

    Seán Manchester is not a “self-styled vampire hunter” – a description others invariably foist on him. He is an exorcist who has sometimes encountered vampires (predatory demonic wraiths) on his travels.

    The claim that “all supernatural activity at the grave has ceased” is not supported by reports still being received by the Vampire Research Society from visitors to the area over the last five years.

    For his part, Seán Manchester does no recognise any “feud” existing. He and his close associates refuse to be drawn into any tit for tat retaliation.

    • Firstly, let me make perfectly clear that I am unconcerned as to what self-aggrandising designations Mr. Manchester and his absurd sky-fairy cult happen to prefer. The Christian church is a preposterous and unhealthy institution which makes a mockery of genuine numinous experience and its hierarchy is of no interest to me.

      Moreover, as vampires and similar phenomena do not exist, except in the fevered imaginations of the credulous and gullible, not only has supernatural activity at the grave ceased, it never existed to begin with.

      In the absence of any photographic record of the “superficial evidence of possible vampiric activity… in the period prior to his visit” which has then been subjected to intensive multi-disciplinary review, such “evidence” can only be dismissed as entirely subjective and spurious.

      May I also draw your attention to a line in “The Kirkless Vampire” chapter of “The Vampire Hunter’s Handbook” in which Manchester refers to “reports of finger-width holes in the earth above the tomb (suggested escape routes for the ‘undead’)”. I’m afraid this description goes much further than mere “perforations” and Manchester clearly lends his tacit support to the claims.

      If Mr. Manchester is not a “self-styled vampire hunter”, perhaps you would care to explain why he thought it sensible to publish a book entitled “The Vampire Hunter’s Handbook”? I also wonder why if Manchester “has never conclusively identified the mysterious goings-on at Kirklees as being the work of a vampire” he chose to call the chapter “The Kirklees Vampire”, without so much as a question mark to append it?

      And if it is true that Manchester “does not recognise any “feud” existing. He and his close associates refuse to be drawn into any tit for tat retaliation”, then it is arguably somewhat hypocritical for his sock-puppets to stalk the internet defending him against every perceived slight. Rather, I believe “turning the other cheek” and ignoring such things would be the appropriate, and indeed Christian, way to behave.

  7. Just for the record, I would like to confirm that no ‘vampire’ ever existed at Robin Hood’s Grave at Kirklees. There WERE reports of ghostly activity there, admittedly, but reports of ‘ghosts’ are fairly common-place (world-wide)and are not connected with stories of non-existant ‘blood-sucking vampires’ – unless someone might otherwise choose to try and connect them, that is.
    Barbara Green, researcher Gareth J. Medway and myself (and others) visited the area in April 2005 and as part of an on-going investigation in the Robin Hood case performed a Blessing Ceremony at the graveside one evening. One of the people present had a letter of permission from the late Lady Armytage giving her full permission to visit the grave; indeed, it was this same person who helped to arrange the details for the cememony to take place. No damage whatsoever occurred during the performance of this ceremony which was filmed by a film company. I had also written to Lady A in 2005 giving her details of the official investigation. My letters can be confirmed by Lady A’s general manager who is still living at Kirklees (and whose name I can supply should anybody be interested).
    Details of the legitimate investigation can also be found in Barbara Green’s book “Secrets of the Grave”.
    As to this ‘3rd party’ nonsense about the proper form of address for bishops, this may be technivally correct; but then that would only apply if the person (or ‘people’)concerned was a bona fida bishop in the first place!
    So to clarify once more: there have indeed been quite a few reports of unexplained psychic activity in the area of the grave, but stories of a ‘vampire’ there are I am afraid, just invented fiction.
    David Farrant, Patron, Yorkshire Robin Hood Society

  8. What is all this talk of perforations?They are probably connected to tea bags.Which only makes sense for someone who wears a tea cosy on his head.

  9. interesting ! the old ‘Highgate Vampire firm’ seem so involved…legendary stuff, there is ITC aplenty at RHG – HOWEVER it eminates? most strongly along a line from the Roman Camp towards the grave, it is so very overgrown that to find it one must crawl through some very dense Bay-Laurel & such, harder to find than the ‘Tower’ it reveals a few surprises of Victoriana & only a few strides from the ‘tomb’ – a significant place for many centuries (long before the nunnery), on sensitivity nearby Nun Brook, I feel is ‘darker’ & more ghostly….

  10. I agree Spiney–that old earthworks is very interesting–haha Tone R didn’t manage to find it when he did his”investigation”! I heard that there is a secret passage from there to Hartshead Church. Hmm.! Keep up the good work, can we put a link of your u tube on here for people tos ee just how scary it is?


  11. Thank you for this. I am currently writing a novel loosely based on Robin Hood and this is of great help.

    • Thanks Sophie, I’m glad you found it useful. The information here is just the tip of the iceberg though and hopefully my full-length study on the folklore of the grave will be released by CFZ Press in the summer.

  12. I am undertaking a heritage course with the open university and one of the places i decided to study was Robin Hoods grave. i have to prepare a statment of significance and a plan as to what i would like to happen to the site. I would like more public access but not a mass tourist trade!! I am also concerned that it may become lost for ever if new landlords were to develope the area. Any advice?

    • That sounds like an interesting project, Maureen, and I would certainly be intrigued to hear what you finally come up with. I’m writing a book on the grave myself for publication in the summer and this is a problem I’ve mused on myself.

      As for advice, you could attempt to contact the Kirklees Estate themselves at least to say that you’ve tried. However, I doubt much help would be forthcoming as they’re typically very cagey over anything to do with the grave.

      Also, I understand that since the death of Lady Armytage in 2008, the Estate has been run by a board of trustees, as her will cannot be realised until substantial death duties are paid. So they may have little idea what will happen in the future themselves.

      I’ve always thought that one possibility for improved access without overly commercialising the site would simply be to run a path (fenced off from the rest of the estate) from the A644.

      One of the complaints the Estate always came up with to justify the access situation was insurance. But my understanding is that if they designated it a public right-of-way, then they wouldn’t be liable. However, I can’t claim to be an expect on the legal technicalities.

      I used to know the owner of the house at Hartshead whose land the Walton Cross stood on. He did exactly this and whilst it required some initial outlay on his part, it has proved a very successful solution.

  13. Hi there

    It is avery long story by please contact me on

    barbara green president of the YRHS

  14. Just a quick update to any one checking in–the latest hearsay–and that is all it is–is that the entire half of Kirklees Estate which Lady A kept is to be sold as the family arent interested–probably dont want to inerite the Robin Hood “problem” as it is seen to be. I still say it is a terrible shame the hall was sold following Sir John’s death in 1984 and then the hall was sold by his widow. If his son had kept the hall and the estate–which we understand he “did not want” it could have been turned into a marvellous local heritage with the added bonus of the Robin Hood sites. I know the farm is important but surely it is not so hard to keep a herd of cows? I have been watching country house rescue and that lady that sorts all these country houses going down the nick out–if only she could have been around at the time. However, the main obstacle was really the insitance on absolute privacy , and all this fuss about toilets and insurance , but other landowners, including the Queen and Lord Harewood, have ahd to sacrifice soem of their privacy for their privileges. Anyhow we must wait and see–Kai’s book will be out soon! Even though Redmonkey films let us down and backed out–I wonder why!


  15. Firstly, I would like to say thankyou for all the people who have researched this subject over the years despite some obvious difficulties. I can add a few interesting details about this site and my experience of it. The first thing of importance is its location in the wider environment – the proximity to castle hill, the perfect position in terms of microclimate and seclution of the agricultural land, the intersection of the rivers(the moterways of the bronze age) – it is an almost naturally fortified site, or might with great ease have been made so previously and it has all the natural sense of liminality – the aura that draws people to something beyond the eye of many such places our ancestors considered ‘sacred.’ That the area was aquired by a holy order is no suprise – the church generally aquired good land but I think it would be quite possible that the area had been a form of sanctuary at an earlier period – religious orders commonly aquired previously pagan sites and RHG is as good a site as any that I can observe in the district for the local priesthood to have chosen – the solstice alignment alone indicates such liklihood and it is interesting that a lane running from Clifton is called Holywell Lane – suggesting a route of pilgrimage, and that running directly north from the grave to this day is a tree lined avenue very much in the style of a processional way – If this was the case and a local cult existed – based around pagan nature worship, then the fact a mediaeval romance which clearly codified various pagan concepts was attacched to the site is no suprise. Such a link is impossible to prove – Yorkshires pre-1066 culture was decimated by the Normans – 3/4 of the adult male population were killed – isn’t it suprising initself that a region of relative fertility and security has so few signs of bronze age culture compared with say Wiltshire? Also, the very fact the local town is called hart’s head is strange, when does one here such names usually? It’s very probably a suggestion of an oracular site. The fact is that to be local to any area is to get to know certain points in nature and experiences – to observe patterns. I have also experienced paralysis here when young but in the company of a monk of the nearby order which may or may not have had some effect. As most people will know there are usually offerings at the grave- flowers of various types. Quite recently there was a pink ribbon tied around a tree, just like the old tree dressing ceremonies that would have been common in the area. The meeting point of the rivers close by although now virtually impossible to notice due to the industrial development is perhaps more than just a practical convergence. About the gate-house, the abbey ruins and the modern mansion house I know very little, only that they occupy good land. It’s a shame the place is privatised, it would make quite a good public attraction of some sort. One other point that might be found interesting is the inscription of the grave-stone – the first words of each line read “here lies near a sick house,” whatever that suggests.
    It’s so easy to be carried away by myths at sites like RHG but anyone who has walked up from the Three Nuns public house and looked across to Castle Hill especially at sunrise will know it is a wonderful place and well worth a visit, legal or otherwise!

    • Thanks for your comment, Roderick. I’ve reached very similar conclusions to your own regarding the liminality and possible pre-Christian sanctity of Kirklees and go into them in some detail in my book “Grave Concerns: The Folklore & Follies of Robin Hood’s Final Resting Place” which is forthcoming from CFZ Press. The manuscript has been submitted but a release date isn’t certain yet; hopefully it will be out by late summer. Watch this space!

  16. That sounds very interesting Kai, i’ll be sure to check back around late summer as any new material especially from a balanced perspective would be wonderful. It seems i’m not alone in being facinated by the place and wanting to delve further into it’s past. I’m particularly interested in the church’s interest in pagan sites and how they often co-existed and I think its likely the Kirklees nuns held some kind of heretical beliefs along with their holy relic and vows or took on some of the local pagan customs.
    It’s hard to judge the scale however but I think in the Bronze age it held real importance – it’s interesting to note that Brighouse is exactly midway from east to west coast on the exact parallel of the old trading route from Ireland to Europe. I wonder also about the fact that the last Celtic kingdom in England, Ehlmet, was located just down the valley.
    As for the grave itself, I just hope there can be some development which creates access for all. People don’t seem to know anything about the place. Hopefully your book can go some way to changing that! Best of luck!

  17. Hi Kai and Roderick,

    Thanks for the interesting comments–I am looking forward to your book Kai–it is now late August so maybe soon? In the meanwhile nothing seems settled about the grave yet–as far as I know the estate–well the bit that si left of it–is selling off land round Birghouse to day the death duties. My friend has written to Sir Martin and David Norcliffe–can expect no no from either of them really but worth a try. The dynasty has finally come to an end it seems and the curse come true!

    tata barbara

    • The book has run into a few logistical delays unfortunately (nothing to do with the book itself, just the knock-on effect of something else the publisher is dealing with). They said it would definitely appear in their autumn schedule but it may be another month or two yet.

      I doubt your friend will get much of an answer from Kirklees sadly–Sir Martin seems to have washed his hands of the place entirely whilst David Nortcliffe seems far too self-important to bother communicating with the hoi polloi–but as you say, it’s probably worth a try.

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve broken your wrist. I hope it gets better soon!

  18. sorry about the typing–I have broken my wrist and have a poton my arm!

  19. Kirkleees Council is planning a huge industrial estate in the countryside of Kirklees Hall. Anyone know who the trustees are and where they live? An address?

    • Really? I recall reading something in the Spen Guardian several months ago about the land on the south-west periphery, near the Three Nuns, being potentially earmarked for industrial development but nothing definite. Sadly, the identity of the trustees is proving something of a mystery and nobody seems to know exactly who one should contact with regard to the estate.

  20. There are three trustees of the Kirklees estate and only know who one is–wondering of the two davids are involved. Also trying to find out who actually did the ley line survey allegedly commissioned by Lady A some years ago–who would do such a thing?I am keeping on top of the developments anyway, its very interesting indeed–also that film made by DF is compete and utter twaddle, must get round to dealing with its ramblings at some point,


  21. David Farrant is claiming that he in touch with Calderdale Council Members, the Lord Mayor of Calderdale and the Brighouse Gala Committee and a Japanese consortium who are consulting him as an “expert” on Robin Hood in order to build a paranormal theme park at RHG. H e claims Lady Armytage gave hin a silver engraged lighter for “services rendered” which is true is weird to say the least–if in fact he was having”secret negotiations” with Lady A from 2005–as he hinted in various blogs–then it was out of order and behind the YRHS back of which he was patron( he was sacked for this hanky panky in 2007) he would not disclose what he was “negotiating” and if indeed it was the case, then absolutely nothing was achieved as far as the YRHS was concerned. Also her farm manager, head gamekeeper and personal assistant–they both claim they have never had any truck with Farrant.Its hardly likely that she did it in secret from them two right-hand boys.Furthemore I have written confirmation from both the Brighouse Gala Committee and various members of Calderdale council that this is all a load of nonsense and they are not in touch with farrant at all. So Someone is telling porkies! Frankly I am sick of it–it was bad enough when Lady Armytage was alive and is worse now she has passed on–over thirty years I have met untold unpleasant and self seeking people–though there have been a few decent types, but only a handful–no one would do anything to save our heritage and now they are all chirping up full of their own importance. My granndaughter has also been refused permission to visit the site for a school project, a class of mirfield schoolchildren the same, but a local history group( Batley) managed to wangle a visit in September out of hours–my granddaugher was simply fed the the same old flannell and fob off that has been the case with most people over the years–except certian favourites and erm–cap doffers!

  22. Kai, if the image of the grave is yours, could you add it to the Wikipedia
    article on Robin Hood’s Grave. Thanks!

    • Alas, the image isn’t mine. The difficulty obtaining access to the grave means I have never been able to obtain my own shots. However, I took the photo from, which permits re-use of photos under a Creative Commons license so perhaps you can use it anyway.

      • Thanks Kai. that’s v good to know.

      • I have many photos of RHG summer autumn winter, unpublished images may be negotiable….as for wikipedia, I created the original article, in no time it was sabotaged…

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