Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kirklees Hall And The Slight Aftertaste Of Sadness

Kirklees Hall is just down the road from here, when there are no leaves on the trees you can just about see it. Built on the site of the 12th century Kirklees Priory (which was supposed to be the last resting place of none other than Robin Hood), the Jacobean Hall is a listed building which has now been divided up into private apartments (one is still on the market for just over £500,000 in case you are interested). The above photograph features on a W H Smith Kingsway Real Photo series postcard dating from 1914. The reverse of the card is as follows:

As far as I can make it out the message is as follows:
"Here with Will tonight. Pleased to hear you are having a good time, keep it up. By the way, tell L that those postcards she sent me have evidently gone astray. Kind regards to all. F"
As always, there are more questions than answers. Why was the sender staying at Kirklees Hall? Could the date of the card (27 August 1914) have anything to do with things? This was three weeks after the outbreak of the First World War and all over Britain, troops were on their way to join their regiments. Could the sender of the card be about to join his regiment and move to France? Who knows. But perhaps the slight aftertaste of sadness is a suitable memory on this particular day.


  1. very suitable for today!

    Robin Hood, huh!? Very interesting!

  2. I adore your post card adventures, Alan. And I think we all should experience a slight aftertaste of sadness today.

  3. A very appropriate card for the day.

  4. This is one of those mysteries that I feel rather compelled to solve. Do you think perhaps "F" was writing to family? In which case, Margrave might be "Fs" last name in which case, there might be something about him on Ancestry. Hmmm.

    Lovely post and I agree with Betsy - quite suitable.


  5. The most poignant thing for me, is the fact that none of the characters concerned, had the remotest idea of what was about to be unleashed. The message is frozen in time. A snapshot that leaves us wondering about the possibilities for before and after.

  6. I don't suppose they were there for an Edwardian tea party - more's the pity.

  7. If the writier had known what lay ahead, I wonder how the content and tone of his postcard may have changed.

  8. Have you noticed how all the inscriptions on old photos / postcards have the same style? I guess there was some person around who cornered the market in annotating photos.

  9. Phil (CB) : I think they used to scratch the inscription onto the glass negative and I suspect such a technique imposed limitations on style.

  10. ah very intriguing post card alan, agree it is good for today...

  11. A suitably wistful post for the day. I love these little mysteries.

    I've been scrolling back through your travels -- sounds as though you've had a fine time!

  12. Anonymous3:41 PM

    Robin Hood?... wow... this is great stuff! You are quite the man of discovery. Keep up the good work, my friend! :) The Bach

  13. Hi Alan. The Robin Hood story is interesting. I came across a reference to it in a 1926 Ntes and Queries - Volume 151
    "Sir George Armytage (of Kirklees Hall) said that quite recently he had come across a copy of a drawing that was made of Robin Hood's gravestone in 1655 by Dr. (Nathanniel) Johnston Johnston. There were then, as now, two distinct stones — one in the bottom being the gravestone, and the other, a stone describing the gravestone."
    The website below, and no doubt many others, gives details.

    Thanks for your comment on my interview on Robert Frost's Banjo.



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