All Things Green Man & The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green

Green Man Pubs

The Green Man of Flackwell Heath copyright © The Company of the Green man

The Green Man of Flackwell Heath

The Green Man as a pub name may have a number of sources beyond that of the Green Man of church and folklore, including from the Green Man and Still heraldic arms used by the Distiller’s Company in the seventeenth century. Some pub signs will show the green man as he appears in English traditional sword dances (in green hats). Or as the Wild Man associated with drinking and revelry and usually carrying a club. There is also a strange interconnection between the Green Man and Robin Hood. Indeed some Green Man pubs changed their signs to foresters or Robin Hood from shaggy green men used as a symbol of the Distillers’ company in the 17th century. Apparently there are no pubs in Robin’s own county of Nottinghamshire named the Green Man but there are many Robin Hoods.

It also seems that some pubs are changing their signs back from images of Robin to that of the traditional Green Man himself.

One of The Company of the Green Man’s projects is to create a comprehensive list of current and historical  Green Man public houses throughout the United Kingdom. The current listing can be found here : if anybody know of any pubs missing from the list we would love to hear from you via the contact tab above.

One response

  1. Kevin Turtill

    A club is traditionally carried by the Woodwose, the wild man of the woods and a close cousin of the Green Man but less well known. The Woodwose can also turn up in churches though the only one I’ve seen personally is on the font in the church at Dickleburgh, south Norfolk. Whereas the Green Man is usually depicted as a face only, the Woodwose is always seen full body as in this pub sign; the character on the sign has no foliage emitting from his mouth and nose either so I would tentatively suggest that this is a Woodwose masquerading as a Green Man!

    Nov 8, 2014 at 9:36 am

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