Robin Hood’s Bed
Robin Hood’s Bed (or Chair or Robin Hood’s Quoit) can be found on Blackstone Edge, a gritstone escarpment between Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. It is a large millstone grit boulder in which according to local tradition Robin Hood slept in one night whilst guarded by his men.
It is also related to a folk tale entitled ‘Mother Red Cap or the Rosicrucians’ that was published by John Roby in his ‘Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (1872)’. The following brief description of the tale was published in the Manchester Guardian. ‘On Friday night last, Mr. Roby gave his fourth lecture on tradition, in the room belonging to the Rochdale Literary and Philosophical Society. The legend was a tale of the days of “Good Queen Bess;” the hero, and Jervis Buckley, of Buckley Hall, about a mile from Rochdale on the Halifax Road; and the Heroine, a Grace Ashton, of Clegg Hall, an old building situated about half—way between Rochdale and Littleborough, and something near a hundred yards on the eastern side of the railway which passes those two places. The two lovers, for such they were, walked out one autumn evening on the common, leading from Syke to Whitworth, where they met with “Mother Red Cap,” a reputed witch, at Robin Hood’s quoit. It should be observed that there are at present day, on this moor, two rocks of some tons weight, in the form of a mote (mote or mark) and quoit. Tradition says, that Robin Hood threw the quoit from the top of Blackstone Edge, a distance of five miles, at the mark, within a few yards of which it now lies. Mother Red Cap on the approach of the lovers, muttered some horrible calamity which was to befall them, and presented them with a ring which turned out to be the wedding—ring of Jervis’s mother. The swain, in conducting this fair damsel back to Clegg Hall, the same evening, was kidnapped at Belfield Hall, and put in a subterranean passage extending as far as Milnow; where Grace Ashton was placed before him as a corpse, though she could speak and answer his questions. Mr. Roby said he was a firm believer in Mesmerism or Braidism; and, as the story was founded on fact, he fully believed that his heroine had been mesmerized. He was of opinion, that mind could act upon mind, and that Mesmerism was known about three hundred years ago. His tale, which, in the syllabus, is entitled, “Mother Red Cap or the Rosicrucians,” was closed at this point, to be resumed the next lecture.’