ROBIN HOOD fans from across the world have been quizzing British experts to find out how the famous figure met his end.
And the story may well end on the boundary between Kirklees and Calderdale.
Facebook followers from America have used Nottinghamshire County Council’s publicity campaign for the 2013 Robin Hood Festival to discover that the outlaw was killed by his cousin.
The legend explains that in 1247 Robin, who was old and ill, went with Little John to see Robin’s cousin Elizabeth de’Staynton, who was the Prioress of Kirklees in Yorkshire.
The Priory was on the 750-acre Kirklees estate, which straddles the Kirklees/Calderdale boundary near Brighouse.
It was a holy house for women, so Little John had to stay outside while Elizabeth took Robin to the Gate House Tower.
She said she would “bleed” him to remove the bad blood she said was causing his illness.
It was a common practice, but Robin did not know that Elizabeth was jealous of him and was the lover of Red Roger of Doncaster, one of Robin’s greatest enemies.
She cut into a vein deeply with a knife and left him to it. Robin grew weak and realised what was happening.
He was too weak to get up and reached for his hunting horn and blew a note, which Little John heard and smashed his way in.
The legend says Little John told him it was too late to save him and said: “My friend, this evil woman has murdered you. I must beg a boon (favour)? Let me kill her and burn this place down.”
Robin replied: “No, our code is we never hurt a woman and we are not breaking that now – let God punish her.”
He asked Little John to pass his bow and arrow and shot an arrow out of the window then died in Little John’s arms.
Legend has it that where the arrow landed is Robin’s resting place.
The grave site forms part of the sprawling tract of agricultural land and ancient woodland on the Kirklees estate..
The alleged grave, marked with a Victorian monument, has been the centre of much controversy over the years.
It was kept strictly private by Lady Margaret Armytage when her family lived on the estate for many years and there were claims it was haunted by a vampire.
Organised visits have been few and far between.
Nottingham council’s Festival Folk Facebook campaign, which at present has around 500 “likes”, has received interest from the Robin Hood Festival of Sherwood Oregon.
American followers had the legend explained to them by “medieval medic Sir Ralph of Epperstone”, who studied archives relating to Robin Hood’s death.
The festival runs from August 5 to 11 at Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.
For more information visit: www.facebook.com/robinhoodfestival