1913 - Barr, Amelia E - All the Days of My Life
|Barr, Amelia E
|All the Days of My Life: an Autobiography – The Red Leaves of a Human Heart
|Robin Hood's House (Baildon Green)
By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-06-21. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-01-17.
The event of this visit was Baildon Feast, a great public rejoicing on the anniversary of the summer solstice. It had been observed beyond the memory of man, beyond historical notice, beyond even the traditions of the locality. There was no particular reason for its observance that I could ever learn; it was just Baildon Feast, and that was all anybody knew about it.
I was awakened very early on the first day of the feast by the bands "playing the sun up," and before we had finished breakfast the procession was forming. Now Baildon Green is flat and grassy as a meadow, and when I was six years old it had a pond in the center, while from the northwest there rose high hills. Only a narrow winding path led to the top of these hills, and about half way up, there was a cave which tradition averred had been one of Robin Hood's retreats — a very probable circumstance, as this whole country-side was doubtless pretty well covered with oak forests.
A numerous deputation from the village of Baildon, situated on the top of the hill, joined the procession which started from Baildon Green at an early hour. The sun was shining brightly, and I had on a clean white frock, pretty white sandals, a new blue sash, and a gypsy hat trimmed with blue ribbons. When the music approached it put a spirit into my feet and my heart [p. 17:] kept time to the exciting melody. I had never walked to music before, and it was an enchanting experience.
The procession appeared to my childish apprehension a very great one. I think now it may have consisted of five hundred people, perhaps less, but the great point of interest was two fine young heifers garlanded with flowers, and ornamented with streaming ribbons of every color. Up the winding path they went, the cattle lowing, the bands playing, the people singing and shouting up to the high places on which the village of Baildon stood. There at a particular spot, hallowed by tradition, the cattle garlanded for sacrifice were slain. I do not know whether any particular method or forms were used. I was not permitted to see the ceremony attending their death, and I confess I was much disappointed.
- Not included in Dobson, R. B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 315-19.
- Outside scope of Sussex, Lucy, compil. 'References to Robin Hood up to 1600', in: Knight, Stephen. Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1994), pp. 262-88.
- Barr, Amelia E. All the Days of My Life: An Autobiography – The Red Leaves of a Human Heart (New York and London, 1913)</ref>}}; see pp. 16-17.