1860 - Bland, John Salkeld - Vale of Lyvenett (2)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Date c. 1860
Author Bland, John Salkeld
Title The Vale of Lyvenett: Its Picturesque Peeps and Legendary Lore
Mentions Robin Hood's Grave [Crosby Ravensworth Fell, Westmorland]
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Edge, where Robin Hood's Chair and Punch Bowl were located; Robin Hood's Grave at Ravensworth Fell.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2017-05-11. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-17.


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 dee
Many sticks, many steanes be heaped o' my weary beanes

 If I sud set Robin a Ree to dee:

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.[1]

Source notes

IRHB's brackets. The MS was written in 1860 or perhaps a year or two later.[2] The work referred to in the cited passage is Sullivan, J. Cumberland & Westmorland, Ancient & Modern: The People, Dialect, Superstitions and Customs (London; Kendal, 1857). See further 1857 - Sullivan, Jeremiah - Cumberland and Westmorland (1).



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