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Robin Hood's Chair (Baildon)

Locality
Coordinates 53.845, -1.7941666666667
Adm. div. West Riding of Yorkshire
Vicinity c. 2 km SW of Baildon
Type Natural feature
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Extant
First Record 1852
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Robin Hood's Chair is close to the point indicated.
In lieu of the Chair: The hilltop entrance to the tramway station. Robin Hood's Chair is near the top of the hill and close to the tracks / 'tri:art:p', Google Earth Panoramio.
In lieu of the Chair: The tramway station in the valley. Robin Hood's Chair is near the top of the hill and close to the tracks / Howard C. Harrison, Google Earth Panoramio.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2016-12-17. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-12.

Apparently first recorded on a 6" O.S. map of Aireborough, Baildon, Bingley and Shipley dated 1852, Robin Hood's Chair is located in Trench Wood about 2 km SW of Baildon. According to blogger Kai Roberts, it is "an earthfast boulder in which water has worn a natural cavity resembling a seat and where Victorian antiquarians suggested some local shaman or chief once sat". He notes that it is also sometimes known as Robin Hood's Seat and is located "about halfway down Shipley Glen".[1] However, according to the 1891 allusion cited below, the Chair is located "[a]t the top of Trench Wood, on entering the Glen"; this is most likely correct. The Chair has an interesting neighbour, the Shipley Glen Tramway, which has taken passengers up and down the glen since 1895.[2] An official publication of Baildon Council has the Chair "[n]ear the top of the tramway",[3] which confirms the statement in the 1891 allusion. I have not found any photos of Robin Hood's Chair.

Allusions

1891 - Gray, Johnnie - Through Airedale from Goole to Malham (2)

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.[4]

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