10 November 2016

Grave

As America prepared to vote Ronald A Chump into The White House, I went walking in the Hood Brook Valley near Hathersage. It was a misty, somewhat overcast autumn day with the sun a blurred milky whiteness behind obstinate clouds. Not the best day for photography in my humble opinion. Above you can see St Michael's Church, Hathersage rising above the trees like a spearhead.

Below two shots inside the old church that was certainly visited by Charlotte Bronte in 1845 when she was in the process of writing "Jane Eyre". She stayed in the adjacent vicarage with her old friend Ellen Nussey and they walked together over the fields to North Lees Hall.
But all of this post is just leading to this fellow:-
It is Robin Hood's trusty lieutenant, Little John. You might think that Nottinghamshire was the chief haunt of Robin Hood and his band of merry men but around this neck of the woods we believe that they mainly operated in South Yorkshire and over the border into Derbyshire. In those long gone days Sherwood Forest was ten times the size is it is today.

And in a corner of Hathersage churchyard you will find Little John's grave under an old yew tree.  It is true that the presence of his remains has not been verified by forensic archaeology but I still like to believe that he lies there dreaming of his past adventures with Robin Hood - stealing from the rich to give to the poor and nobbling the Sheriff of Nottingham's lads with his big stick.

Click to enlarge so you can read the inscription:-

20 comments:

  1. My landlords returned from the UK two weeks ago. They go back every year to visit family and friends.

    While over there Denise who is a walker similar to your own good self trekked through all the Bronte territory,...one reason for doing so was their fourth grandchild, a daughter who was born a day or two after they left here was named "Bronte".

    I guess the uncertainty that Little John's remains are there is the reason there are no dates on the headstone. It's still a fine tribute.

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    1. The Bronte sisters mostly lived and wrote sixty miles north of here in Haworth near Keighley. Charlotte did not die young and travelled more extensively than Emily and Anne. My daughter's middle name is Emily - after Emily Bronte. There are some writers names you wouldn't want to give a child... like Vonnegut Smith or McCullough Brown but Bronte is okay. Near Hathersage there is an isolated and rather lovely house called Bronte Cottage - in memory of Charlotte's visit.

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  2. Do you think Robin Hood was real or myth?

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    1. I believe in Robin Hood a lot more than I believe in Jesus... which isn't saying much.

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  3. I once received an email that purported to show that Mrs P could travel her family back to the Loxleys of Hallamshire and Robertus Loxley, one of the candidates for Robin Hood. I've no real idea how true this might be and probably never will, but I have included it on my family history site.

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    1. My dear Lord Rhodes, is thy mistress's name Marion by any chance?

      There are various locations in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire that bear the name of "Robin Hood", including Robin Hood's Cave on Stanage Edge and Robin Hood's Stoop near Offerton Hall. Of course Loxley is to this day a suburb of Sheffield.

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    2. and there's a group of stones called Robin Hood's Stride near Winster. He must have been a giant of a fellow to take these stones inhis stride !!

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    3. He was a big fellow Helen but not as big as Little John.

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  4. Wait -- I always thought Robin Hood was legend!

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    1. More real than Jesus or that other fellow Steve. What's his name? Oh yes, Muhammad.

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  5. So you had a good walk and found a little history. I'm sure Trump won't be robbing from the rich.

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    1. No. Trump is the new Sheriff of Nottingham...

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  6. I really like the first photo. The misty light makes it special.
    Do you know at what time the grave marker for Little John was put there?

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    1. No. I don't know that Meike.
      But in 1620 the celebrated historian Elias Ashmole wrote this:- "Little John lyes buried in Hathersage Churchyard within three miles from Castleton, near High Peake, with one stone set up at his head and another at his feete, but a large distance between them."

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  7. Looking at that top photograph, all I can say is - so that's where the sun was today.

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    1. The sun tried to peep out for a little while and then went back behind the clouds.

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  8. A 'not the best day for photography' is always a challenge and tends to make the photographer turn to other ideas. Just as you did.

    Alphie

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    1. Thank you Alphie. You are very kind.

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  9. A lovely area to walk in and the first photo is lovely. Soft light has its own appeal.

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    1. I agree. Soft light can have an appeal Helen but I prefer the illumonation that bright sunsgine brings.

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