The merry men at Sheffield roofing specialists, Martin-Brooks, have landed a pair of projects with a coincidental connection to local folklore hero, Robin Hood.
The firm’s heritage roofing experts are helping to restore and maintain Kirklees Priory and the church in Hathersage where Robin of Loxley and Little John are buried respectively.
Martin-Brooks has embarked on an eight-week project to refurbish the roof on the gatehouse at Kirklees Priory in Clifton, West Yorkshire, which is all that remains of the Cistercian nunnery where Robin was allegedly bled to death by the prioress. Legend has it, he shot an arrow through the building’s window, to mark where he wished to be buried and a monument believed to be his grave can be found nearby on the estate.
Working with main contractor, Historic Property Restoration, Martin-Brooks is re-roofing the now derelict grade I listed gatehouse using reclaimed stone slate from the site and its in-house stocks. In addition, it is carrying out traditional leadworks to help preserve the property and bring it back into use.
The firm also enjoys close links with St Michael’s and All Angels church in Hathersage, where the gravestone of Little John, Robin Hood’s closest companion, is located. Its craftsmen were called in recently to repair storm damage to the Westmorland slate roof and have undertaken various work at the grade I listed, 14th century church for many years.
Dale Wright, Martin-Brooks’ contracts director, said: “Our heritage work takes us to various sites across the country with interesting tales to tell, but this is the first time two entirely separate projects have been so closely interwoven. The legend of Robin Hood is synonymous with our home city of Sheffield and it is a pleasure to be preserving key links to the story for future generations to enjoy.”
Kirklees Park is a working farm estate so access is restricted for safety reasons. Guided tours are available via www.calderdaleheritagewalks.org.uk