There’s a long tradition of Robin Hood connections with Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. Legend has it that Friar Tuck began his rather errant monkish career there, while just down from the ruins of the once-mighty abbey – now a World Heritage Site – is Robin Hood’s Wood and a well named after the famous outlaw.
It was certainly glorious there yesterday. We went really to see the beautiful autumn colours (absolutely stunning! But go in the next week or so to see them at their best if you can.)
The other reason we went was because of the new Robin Hood novel I’m writing. I mentioned Fountains Abbey in the first novel, Loxley, but thought it should figure more prominently in the third book. And as I’m just writing the sequence where Tuck finds himself back there and Robin Hood and his band just happen to be there at the same time, well…
All of my books begin with a setting, but with Robin, where I’m harking back to traditional tales, there are a number of settings. I placed my Robin Hood in Sherwood, but that doesn’t mean I can’t bring in some of the other places with a Robin Hood tradition… at least I don’t think so.
There may well have been one Robin Hood that triggered off these great tales, but historical records show he was followed by many others. And in a variety of places across the land.
And the potency of the legend lives on: Even in the 21st century we have the Robin Hood Tax and even, heaven help us, Robin Hood International Airport!!!
If you haven’t sought out the first two books in my Chronicles of Robin Hood – Loxley and Wolfshead – please do take a look. They’re out in paperback and on Kindle. Goodreads are offering three signed copies of Loxley until Monday, so do visit their site.
And if you get the chance do visit Fountains Abbey, where you get both a medieval abbey and a Georgian landscape to explore. Well worth the journey..