Robin Hood's Chair (Baildon)
|Adm. div.||West Riding of Yorkshire|
|Vicinity||c. 2 km SW of Baildon|
|Interest||Robin Hood name|
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". 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. An official publication of Baildon Council has the Chair "[n]ear the top of the tramway", which confirms the statement in the 1891 allusion. I have not found any photos of Robin Hood's Chair.
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.
- Not included in Dobson, R.B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), pp. 293-311.
- 6" O.S. map Yorkshire 201 (1852; surveyed 1847-48)
- Yorkshire CCI.NE (1894; surveyed 1889-91)
- Yorkshire CCI.NE (1909; rev. 1906)
- Yorkshire CCI.NE (1909; rev. 1906) (georeferenced)
- Yorkshire CCI.NE (1934; rev. 1934)
- Yorkshire CCI.NE (1948; rev. 1938).
- Gray, Johnnie. Through Airedale from Goole to Malham (Leeds; Bradford; Skipton; Goole, 1891), p. 150.
- Ashton, Joe, et. al., eds. Exploring Baildon: A Guide to Public Spaces (Baildon, Shipley, 2015), p. 20, No. 45.
- Old Elmet Dreaming: My Folkloric Influences
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