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

Sighting – Crowland Abbey Green Man

Crowland Abbey Green Man © Tina Negus

Tina Negus sent me this wonderful image of the Green Man chancel boss at Crowland Abbey, Lincolnshire.

Crowland Abbey was a monastery of the Benedictine Order in Lincolnshire, It was founded in memory of St. Guthlac early in the eighth century by Ethelbald, King of Mercia, but was entirely destroyed and the community slaughtered by the Danes in 866.

Re founded in the reign of King Edred, it was destroyed by fire in 1091, but rebuilt about twenty years later by Abbot Joffrid. In 1170 the greater part of the abbey and church was once more burnt down and once more rebuilt, under Abbot Edward. From this time the history of Crowland was one of growing and almost unbroken prosperity down to the time of the Dissolution. Richly endowed by royal and noble visitors to the shrine of St. Guthlac, it became one of the most opulent of East Anglian abbeys; and owing to its isolated position in the heart of the fen country, its security and peace were comparatively undisturbed during the great civil wars and other national troubles.

At the time of the Dissolution the abbot was John Welles, or Bridges, who with his twenty-seven monks subscribed to the Royal Supremacy in 1534, and five years later surrendered his house to the king. The remains of the abbey were fortified by the Royalists in 1643, and besieged and taken by Cromwell in May of that year.

This Green Man is listed in our Gazetteer

4 responses

  1. Hi

    Just been through your gazetter. I cant see St Giles in Sidbury in Devon. They have 7 green man heads.

    If you have got them somewhere ( and i just cant see it) all well and good. But if you havent , let me know and Ill take some photos. I have some but they are not good.

    Janet Dowling

    07834 194215


    Aug 25, 2018 at 8:25 am

  2. Hi Janet, I can’t see any listed for Sidbury either. Details and photos would be very much appreciated. You can e-mail me via the contact tab at the top of the webpage. Many thanks.

    Aug 25, 2018 at 8:43 am

  3. and are you interested in the reputedly only green man in a church glass window? Its 19th century. Its at Machynlleth in Powys at the St Peter ad Vincula Church

    here is a brief link

    if you haven’t got it ( its not in the gazetteer) and you are interested in a 19th c glass version, I’ll try to dig out a photo.

    *Janet Dowling*

    Be authentic, Be direct, Be unapologetic

    “Stories may not be true on the outside, but its true on the inside.”

    from a 5 years old girl, via Richard Marsh!

    Aug 25, 2018 at 10:58 am

  4. Hi Janet,

    Apologies, the gazetteer is still very much a work in progress and requires a lot of updating. The Machynlleth Green Man was reported to us by Jennie Miller & Gary Truss a long time ago along with a great photo here: I’ve been doing a bit of work on the Gazetteer this weekend so have just updated it to include this sighting and detailed you as the verifier. I’ve also added your Sidbury sighting. I also hate to be the bearer of bad news but this is definitely not the only stained glass green man in a church. There is one in St Mary’s Redcliffe, Bristol. My photo of it is here:

    Aug 25, 2018 at 6:57 pm

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