With the thirtieth anniversary of the Robin Hood Festival set to rake place in August, Nottinghamshire County Council may have just found the person that holds the key to the legendary outlaw.
Robert of Wentbridge, or Ralph Needham of Mapperly, does not raise many eye brows as he traipses around in brown hood, green tunic and fawn hose in Medieval England, but a short time with the storyteller reveals that he has much more up his sleeve.
Robert of Wentbridge is full of stories and fables that hold the key to much of the mystery that surrounds Nottingham’s greatest outlaw... Even how he may have died.
Deep into Sherwood Forest there is a stretch of walk that has been named after the storyteller, who has happened to join the merry men having stumbled on hard times, where he will recount one of six different stories about the famous outlaw, including:
• Robin Hood and the Tanner
• Robin Hood, robbing the Abbott of St Mary’s
• Robin Hood and the Potter
• The Major Oak story
• Robin Hood and the Pirates
• The Death of Robin Hood.
“Whereas Sir Ralph of Epperstone is a medieval medic, interested in the medical practices of the day, Robert is a storyteller,” Ralph Needham, who will also appears at the festival as the medieval physician, Sir Ralph of Epperstone, said. “He sets the scene in the year 1248, talking about the forest laws, about Robin Hood and where he was from and how he grew up.
“The stories I select look at different exciting events within the Tales of Robin Hood. For example, the story about Robin Hood and the Pirates explores more about Robin Hood’s Bay. And when we come to exploring Robin Hood’s death, Robert explains how the outlaw was tricked by his cousin and met his end bleeding to death, Little John unable to save him.”
“The Festival is great family fun and well done to Nottinghamshire County Council on reaching the 30th anniversary. I love being able to share stories of Robin Hood with people at the festival and it promises to be a special year.”
Was that the end of Robin Hood though? You will have to go to the festival to find out.