Robin Hood’s Grave 4

19th century Sir George Armytage enclosed the grave in an iron cage on a low stone wall to guard against further vandalism. By this time the slab was badly damaged and little remained. He then inserted a stone formerly lying by the side of the grave, this bore an inscription almost identical to the epitaph that was recorded by Gale.*
20th century Robin Hood’s grave still stands within the grounds of Kirklees estate, it has been neglected and needs repair. There have been reports of other graves, and stone crosses with no markings have also been found. As for the medieval nunnery, only the reconstructed gatehouse survives intact. The buildings of the priory were levelled to the ground, and it is believed that the stones were eventually reused for alteration of Kirklees Hall, which is about a quarter of a mile distant. Kirklees estate is still owned by the Armytage family.
  This information was supplied by  J. W. Walker and appeared in the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, vol xxxvi, however David Hepworth has information which shows that the grave had been enclosed at an earlier date. He cites John Watson’s unpublished notes on Kirklees dated 1758:  ‘At some distance from this (Castle Field Kirklees Park), in an inclos’d Plantation is Robin Hood’s tomb, as it is call’d; which is nothing but a very rude stone note quite two yards long, & narrow in proportion; it has the figure of a cross, cut in a manner not common upon it; (the slab) but no inscription, nor does their appear ever to have been any letters upon it, not withstanding Mr. Thoresby has publish’d a pretended one found amongst the papers of Dr. Gale Dean of York’. (Watson also appears to be confusing the slab with the stone with the epitaph). David also cites correspondence from the mid-eighteenth century by the  Reverend Joseph Ismay, which records the enclosure of the grave. ‘Ye sepulchral Monument of Robin Hood near Kirklees which has been lately impaled in ye form of a Standing Hearse in order to preserve the stone (the slab) from the rude hands of the curious traveller who frequently carried off a small Fragment of ye stone, and thereby diminished it’s pristine Beauty’.