Peveril Castle & Robin Hood.

High up on the Derbyshire hills overlooking the village of Castleton can be found the remains of a once impressive castle which would have dominated the surrounding area.

The connection that the castle shares with the legend of Robin Hood is that Peveril castle is quite close to the village of Hathersage where Little John’s grave can be seen in the churchyard there, and also Loxley is close by which is said to have been the home of Robin Hood.

Added to this is the fact that Peveril castle was built by William the Conqueror’s son William Peveril who had used to be Robin Hood’s enemy the Sheriff of Nottingham.

In the Royal Forest of the Peak which is the location of the castle it is recorded that Robin Hood was an outlaw here “amongst the thorns and briars when Simon de Montford perished at the battle of Evesham”.

Back in Robin Hood’s time the nearby village of Chapel-en-le Frith would have been the capital of the Peak Forest, and we can still come across evidence that Robin Hood was active in this area from a poem by Derbyshire poet William Bennet from Chapel-en-le-Frith which is based on songs which have survived from Robin Hood’s time. This poem was said to record a fight which took place between Robin and the Keepers of the Peak Forest and also a match between the Foresters and Robin using a Longbow.

It is quite possible that Robin Hood and his followers lived in the Peak Forest and hunted the deer there, as after the Norman conquest those who still lived and fought against the conqueror were dispossessed, this means that there homes were taken and given to the Conquerors followers who had come with him from Normandy. This would have meant that the homeless would have had to live rough in the woods, the Normans branded these people as Tilvatid (living in tents). Some of the Normans branded these people as Silvatici (one that lives in or frequents the woods) and perhaps Robin Hood was amongst these people who took refuge in the woods towards the end of the eleventh century.

The photograph on the left is of a model of Peveril Castle showing how it would have looked in the past.

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2 Responses to “Peveril Castle & Robin Hood.”

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