The Stone of Robert Hode

The Chartulary of Monkbretton Priory (extract)


(315) Grant by John Jubbe of Wrangbrook and Richard Jubbe of Upton to John Pullene of Wrangbrook of a tenement in Wrangbrook built on as it lies between the cottage of the nuns of Hampole on the west and the land of Peter de la Hay on the east, and extends to the beck of the said vill towards the south, together with twelve acres of arable land lying in the fields and territory of Wrangbrok, Slephill and Skelbrook; half an acre lies in the same culture (Slephill) between the land of William Lord on the west and the land of Reginald Pullayne on the east and abuts on the aforesaid Lynges (of Skelbrooke) and upon the stone of Robert Hode towards the north.

Witnesses:  John Wentworth of Elmesall, William Lorde of Wrangbrook, Richard de Wrangbrook, and others. Dated at Wrangbrook, Sunday in the feast of Holy Trinity, 1322. (Milo IIImo Vicesimo Secundo)*

‘It is however absolutely clear, from the internal evidence of this deed and a comparison with adjoining items in the cartulary, that-as its editor recognized-the correct date is not 1322 but 1422’. ( Rymes of Robyn Hood, Dobson and Taylor, 1976, p. 23).

This may be the earliest mention of a place name associated with Robin Hood. As Holt points out: ‘Walker jumped to the conclusion that this was on the site of Robin Hood’s Well which still stands on the east side of the Great North Road a mile south of Barnsdale Bar, and he has been followed by all subsequent writers. But this is thoroughly at odds with the topographical details of the deed. The stone must have been much nearer to Barnsdale Bar and to the west, not the east of the Road, for it was sited in the fields of Sleep Hill abutting the ings of Skelbrooke between that village and Wrangbrook. At all events, here was a boundary stone or guidepost, less than a mile south-west of Barnsdale Bar, which in 1422 carried the same name as the local outlaw hero’.(Holt, Robin Hood, p. 107) In his notes, (p.194) Holt gives us more information: ‘The ings or ‘Lynges’ of Skelbrook must have run northwards down to the Skell which flows from west to east through the village. My reading of the deed is that the northern edge of the ings formed the southern, and Robin Hode’s Stone the northern bounds of a half-acre plot, which cannot have been contiguous with the Great North Road since that appears as the eastern boundary to two other half-acre plots’.