Saturday, July 25, 2015

Outlaws in Context: A Photo Post of the 2015 IARHS Conference in Doncaster

From 30 June to 2 July 2015, the International Association for Robin Hood Studies held the group's 10th Biennial Meeting. Many of our fellow outlaws could not attend, and we want to be able to connect to Robin Hood scholars around the globe! So we've curated a collection of photographs, all taken by a variety of scholars during, and after, the conference. All the photographs are copyright 2015 by their owners, who are listed in the captions. Please do not hotlink or distribute these photos; these photos may not be used for commercial purposes without express written consent of the copyright owners. This is a large post, so all photos are beneath the jump!

The conference was held at The Stables restaurant and conference centre, part of the High Melton campus of Doncaster College.

The view from High Melton was gorgeous, as were the details of St. James' Church, right next door:
By Kristin Bovaird-Abbo
By Gillian Spraggs
By Jason Hogue

The breakfast at The Stables was amazing, as was the cake that conference organizer Dr. Lesley Coote (University of Hull) commissioned. The conference even had a mascot, a delightful Meercat statue dressed as Robin Hood (why should foxes have all the fun?).
By Alexander Kaufman
By Alexander Kaufman
By Kristin Bovaird-Abbo


The real treat, however, was a trip to the site of Kirklees Priory, lead by Robin Hood scholar David Hepworth (pictured below).
By Lorraine K. Stock
(David Hepworth talking about Robin Hood's Grave)
David's detailed and expert knowledge of the Armytage estate made a long hike in high heat and bright sun a delight, and he served a tremendously filling high tea in his own garden after.









The first set of pictures is of the famous Gatehouse (allegedly where Robin Hood breathed his last). From here, we looked out over the field where the convent and chapel once stood. The first two photographs are taken from the courtyard of the complex; the third is of the other side of the building.

By Alexander Kaufman
By Lorraine K. Stock
By Valerie B. Johnson

The Gatehouse itself is fascinating, but it is part of a larger complex of buildings, which include a 15th century barn and a lovely garden where we enjoyed refreshments (and later high tea) ... and met Ben the dog, who escorted us around the estate.
By Valerie B. Johnson
By Valerie B. Johnson
By Valerie B. Johnson


We looped around the Gatehouse to approach the priory complex from the southern side of the site, and some of us climbed over a wall to investigate the field more closely; some of us decided not to risk agitating the enormous cattle in the field. Since the convent and chapel were demolished centuries ago, the site has been excavated but is currently used as a pasture for cattle. The cattle, it should be noted, were somewhat hostile to scholarly investigation, and required a stern lecture from David regarding intellectual freedom and why attempting to eat scholars is Very Rude.


By Gillian Spragg
By Kristin Bovaird-Abbo
By Valerie B. Johnson


The south side of the site is significant because there are several graves, including that of Elizabeth de Staynton, prioress of Kirklees - often vilified as the woman who killed Robin Hood when the Sheriff could not. Her tomb is lovely.
By Lorraine K. Stock
By Lorraine K. Stock
Robin Hood's Grave, however, is the main attraction at Kirklees. (If you want to learn more, please do read David's work, for example "A Grave Tale," in Robin Hood: Medieval and Post-Medieval, edited by Helen Phillips, pp. 91-112). We took a wide range of pictures and angles: 
By Gillian Spraggs
By Alexander Kaufman
By Gillian Spraggs
The inscription itself is fascinating:
By Gillian Spraggs

David even read the inscription aloud, which I captured on video:

There's a lovely and strange-looking tree near the Grave that is right out of a Robin of Sherwood artbook! We took some time to some fun shots, like the one of Valerie's golden arrow necklace on a bit of iron protruding from the Grave's wall. Then we hiked along the ridge to see the Armytage manor house, and went back down through the woods to the priory site (photograph taken moments before we discovered nettles).
By Jason Hogue
By Valerie B. Johnson
By Valerie B. Johnson
But, of course, part of why we hold these biennial conferences is so that we can meet and speak in person. Here are a series of old and new friends:
By Tom Stock
(Lorraine Stock and Laura Blunt)
By Tom Stock
(Lorraine and Michael Eaton)
By Lorraine K. Stock
(Laura and Michael)
By Alex Kaufman
(Lesley Coote opens the conference)
By Valerie B. Johnson
(Lesley, Valerie, and Parker Gordon)

By Lorraine K. Stock
(Alex Kaufman and Alice Blackwood)
By Lorraine K. Stock
(Michael E. and Stephen Basdeo)
By Lorraine K. Stock
(Gillian Spraggs)
By Lorraine K. Stock
(Parker Gordon and Mikee Deloney)

By Jason Hogue
(Jason and Stephen)
By Jason Hogue
(Stephen as 'Green Arrow')
By Jason Hogue
(Thomas Rowland, at IMC Leeds)


Several of us ventured out to Robin Hood-related sites before and after the IARHS conference. Here are some samples from the cathedrals in Lincoln and Worchester, and Fountains Abbey:
By Lorraine K. Stock
(Lincoln Cathedral archer)

By Lorraine K. Stock
(Worchester Cathedral misericord)
By Lorraine K. Stock
(Worchester Cathedral, King John's grave)
By Kristin Bovaird-Abbo
(Fountains Abbey deer park)
By Kristin Bovaird-Abbo
(Fountains Abbey ruins)

All in all, the 10th Biennial Meeting of the IARHS was a rousing success, and we'll meet again in Montgomery, Alabama - Alexander Kaufman will be organizing the 11th Biennial Meeting at Auburn University - Montgomery in summer 2017. (Watch our Twitter and this blog for details.)

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