News, Culture & Society

Fears final resting place of Robin Hood could vanish

A dying Robin Hood is said to have been buried, at his own request, at the spot where he fired his final arrow.

But the grave of the legendary outlaw could be engulfed by concrete under plans to build an industrial estate over the meadow in West Yorkshire.

Legend suggests that Robin Hood died at Kirklees Priory. His final resting place became shrouded in mystery after the owners of the nearby Kirklees Estate closed it off to the public.

Robin Hood is believed to have been buried at Kirklees Priory in West Yorkshire (pictured) after he fired his final arrow there 

But now council bosses have sunk all hope of finding the true grave by earmarking the unspoiled Green Belt land as an industrial estate.

The plans have angered local experts and historians, who say the land could disappear under ‘a sea’ of steel warehouses.

Robert Bamforth, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the bureaucrats were sacrificing the area’s tourism potential.

He said: ‘Everyone locally believes that is where Robin Hood died and no one has ever challenged that legend – not even Nottingham.

‘The tragedy is this land has not been disturbed for hundreds of years and looks just as it did centuries ago so who knows what has been preserved.

‘If you have a Japanese tourist and you say to them “Robin Hood died here and he shot his arrow over that warehouse’ it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it”.’

Max Rathwell, Chairman of Spen Valley Civic Society, said: ‘The whole plan is tragic and stunningly stupid. People are enraged. The whole idea is bonkers.

‘We know how well preserved the land is because it is still exactly as Charlotte Bronte described it in Chapter 12 of ‘Shirley.

‘It is a treasure island in an industrial landscape and Robin Hood’s grave would be a focal point.

‘If this crazy idea goes ahead it will devastate the area. Instead of woodland and meadows and fields of wheat and barley it will just be a sea of monstrous sheds.’

Kirklees Council (pictured) has earmarked the priory land for an industrial estate, angering local experts and historians 

Kirklees Council (pictured) has earmarked the priory land for an industrial estate, angering local experts and historians 

Barbara Green, 72, founder of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society, said: ‘It really annoys me that the council has never shown the slightest interest in Robin’s grave.

‘The Society has tried since the 1980s to get the folly restored and open to the public and every effort has failed.

‘We are not trying to pinch Robin Hood from Nottingham but for the sake of local history the council should have listened.’

A public inquiry is currently underway into the Kirklees Council Local Plan. The authority has refused to comment.