Robin Hood's Howl (Kirkbymoorside)

From International Robin Hood Bibliography
Locality
Coordinate 54.273495, -0.955058
Adm. div. North Riding of Yorkshire
Vicinity c. 750 m W of Kirkbymoorside
Type Natural feature
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Extant
First Record 1847
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Robin Hood's Howl (Kirkbymoorside).

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2020-08-28. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2021-02-11.

Robin Hood's Howl is a long, narrow, wooded hollow on the southern edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. First recorded in 1847, Robin Hood's Howl is situated c. 750 meters west of Kirkbymoorside, in North Yorkshire, formerly the North Riding of Yorkshire. The 'howl', which is oriented NNE–SSE is c. 1.5 km long and c. 150 m at its widest. It is almost entirely covered by beech and other deciduous trees.

Dobson & Taylor note that this natural feature is '[a]pparently a hole or hollow (rather than a hill)'.[1] A fairly recent study of Northumberland and county Durham hill-terms lists a single example of a place-name, Howl John between the villages of Eastgate and Stanhope in Weardale, whose name includes a reflex of OE 'hōh', meaning originally "‘heel’, in the anatomical sense, and ‘heel, hill-spur’, in a transferred topographical sense".[2] Some 50 meters west of what is in round terms the midpoint of Robin Hood's Howl are the scheduled remains of a Bronze Age round barrow. 'Excavations have reported finding a large quantity of burnt bone together with an urn. The monument survives as a low stony mound approximately 25 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres high'.[3] It is conceivable that 'Robin Hood's Howl' could have originated as a name for the mound, yet if so the only moderately similar case would be that of Robin Hood Ball (Netheravon), whose name is often misapplied to a nearby prehistoric feature by modern English archaeologists. However, this mistake seems to have been first made by one of their ranks who misread the maps or perhaps did not read them at all. It seems less likely that the name 'Robin Hood's Howl' should have been misapplied in the Ordnance Survey name book on which the early maps of the area were based, and the letter 'l' would have to be regarded as inorganic or simply a mistake, if the element 'howl' were part of the name of a mound. In view of the lay of the land it seems much more natural to take 'Howl' as a metathetic form of the noun 'hollow', which goes back to OE and ME 'holh' (also ME 'holȝ').[4]

Robin Hood's Howl first figures, as item No. 719, in the 1847 tithe award for Kirkbymoorside, where its owner/occupier is given as Lord Feversham (i.e. the third Baron Feversham), its area being 30 acres, 2 roods and 29 perches (18337.32 m2), while the state of cultivation is not noted.[5]

Gazetteers

MS sources

  • 1847 tithe award for the township of Kirkby Moorside in the Parish of Kirkby Moorside, online at the the Genealogist, piece 42, sub-piece 208, image 151, item #719) (£)
  • accompanying map, online at the the Genealogist, piece 42, sub-piece 208, sub-image 001, colour (£).

Printed sources

Maps

Background

Also see

Notes

  1. Dobson, R. B., ed.; Taylor, J., ed. Rymes of Robyn Hood: an Introduction to the English Outlaw (London, 1976), p. 306, s.n. Robin Hood's Howl.
  2. Nurminen, Terhi Johanna. Hill-Terms in the Place-Names of Northumberland and County Durham (Doctor Phil. thesis) (Newcastle University, 2012), p. 169, and see p. 170. OED, hoe, n.1.
  3. Pastscape: Monument No. 58661; its coordinate is 54.2737,-0.9568.
  4. OED, hollow, n.1.; also MED, holgh, n.
  5. 1847 tithe award for the township of Kirkby Moorside in the Parish of Kirkby Moorside, online at the the Genealogist, piece 42, sub-piece 208, image 151, item #719) (£); accompanying map, online at the the Genealogist, piece 42, sub-piece 208, sub-image 001, colour (£).


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