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

Author Archive

20 Years Young!

I still can’t quite believe that 2018 marks 20 years of The Company of the Green Man! Ronald Millar wrote the book “The Green Man Companion and Gazetteer” in 1997 and in a note at the back of the book invited interested people to join The Company of the Green Man. Keen and eager upon reading his freshly printed book and with an avid interest in Green Men I wrote to Ron in early 1998 and asked to join the Company, to be told that I had caught him slightly unprepared. The book had gone out earlier than he had anticipated and the Company did not yet officially exist. And thus (with a little bit of encouragement) in 1998 The Company officially began.  Ron’s first newsletter was published in September 1998.

20 years and 43 newsletters later The Company is still going strong with nearly 800 members worldwide.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our members and followers for their contributions and encouragement over the years, without you The Company of the Green Man would not exist.

Here’s to the next 20 years!

 


From Granite to Sea – Alex Langstone

 

From Granite to Sea ~ The Folklore of Bodmin Moor and East Cornwall by Alex Langstone

Alex Langstone is a folklorist, poet and author and was one of the first members of The Company of the Green Man when it was launched by Ronald Millar twenty years ago. Alex has been fascinated by the innumerable legends, myths and folklore of the Cornish landscape for much of his life. He lives in an old slate and granite farmhouse, tucked away in the lush green Camel Valley, North Cornwall. When not writing, he can be found exploring the hidden valleys, secret coves and haunted byways of the Cornish landscape. You can find out more about Alex, his books and upcoming talks at: http://www.alexlangstone.com

“Cornwall is an ancient land steeped in legend and myth. From Granite to Sea explores the folklore of the often-overlooked eastern reaches of the rugged Cornish peninsula, at the heart of which lies the mysterious upland of Bodmin Moor. This beautiful and remote land of granite, which forms the Cornish highlands, inhabits eighty square miles across the central spine of eastern Cornwall. A wild and mysterious landscape, where folklore permeates every hill, rock and river. Inhabited by piskies, giants and conjurors, who in turn control the old trackways, hilltops and weather. It is a land haunted by the wild hunt of the Devil’s Dandy Dogs and the demonic spectre of Tregeagle.

From Granite to Sea is the first ever comprehensive focus on the folklore of eastern Cornwall. Alex Langstone’s ground-breaking study will guide the reader through a myriad of old tales of witches, conjurors and charmers, supernatural encounters, amazing folk traditions and curious customs from the high moors, rugged clifftops, secret coves and lush estuaries across the eastern reaches of the Duchy.”

“evocative and atmospheric” Meyn Mamvro

Available to buy online from Troy Books http://www.troybooks.co.uk

Alex will also be presenting an illustrated talk about his new book on September 12th


#FolkloreThursday Article

Rochester Sweeps Festival Jack-in-the-Green 2017 © Clem Rutter

My Traditional Jack in the Green article has gone live today on the wonderful #FolkloreThursday website www.folklorethursday.com

My thanks to Dee Dee and the team for featuring it and helping to raise the profile of this magical living tradition #jackinthegreen


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


Amanda Bates – Green Man & Lady

Amanda Bates is an artist, based in Kingsclere north Hampshire, with a growing interest in the tradition of the Green Man. One of the things to spark that interest was a chance visit to St. Peter’s in Upper Wolhampton, West Berkshire, where she found a delightful pair of Victorian Green Man stone carvings on the exterior of the church that were previously undiscovered.

Amanda didn’t have a camera with her so instead recorded them in pencil (above). Amanda then created the wonderful pictures accompanying this post using Acrylic Ink on rough watercolour paper, entitled Green Man & Green Lady.

Amanda wrote: “The faces are Victorian (the church was rebuilt in 1857) and, with their surroundings of leaves, the gentleman’s leafy moustache and the vegetation emerging from the lady’s mouth, are in the Green Man tradition. I fancy that they might represent the local landowner and his wife.”

My thanks to Amanda for getting in touch and sharing her incredible work with us. You can see more of Amanda’s work on her website: www.amandabatesart.co.uk  All pictures copyright © Amanda Bates


The Company of the Green Man e-newsletter 16

 

The Company of the Green Man’s sixteenth e-newsletter has just been published and is available for members to download completely free via the members area tab at the top of this page. If you are a member you should receive an e-mail via MailChimp with details of how to access the  e-newsletter. If not please don’t hesitate to contact me using the “contact us” tab above.

If you would like to join The Company of the Green Man  (it’s free) just use the “join us” tab at the top of this page or click HERE


Robin [Hood] disguised as Green Man of Sherwood Forest

Saturday 7th July 2018 witnessed the launch of Hoodwinked 2018, Nottingham’s stunning new public art trail, featuring a twist of the tale of local legendary outlaw Robin Hood: 33 giant Robin statues have flocked to the streets of Nottingham, each one hand-painted by an artist. This free public art trail is presented by Nottingham City Council in partnership with creative events producers Wild in Art and charity partner Nottinghamshire Hospice, for whom the Robin symbolises hope after the passing of a loved one. Wild in Art is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The Sheriff of Nottingham Councillor Catharine Arnold attended the official Hoodwinked 2018 launch party in the picturesque grounds of Nottingham Castle on the evening of Thursday 5th July, at which many of the Robin sponsors and artists were also present.

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia is proud to publicly reveal her design entitled Green Man of Sherwood Forest, which is generously sponsored by Benoy. Graham Cartledge CBE of Benoy writes: “We are delighted to show our support to Nottinghamshire Hospice, a very well-deserving local charity. The Hoodwinked initiative will attract visitors and locals alike, encouraging people in our community to connect through creativity – something that is at the heart of what our designers do at Benoy.”

You can find Green Man of Sherwood Forest in Trinity Square, Nottingham, from 7th July until 30th September 2018. He looks forward to meeting you! 😉


Faces in the Leaves of Sherwood Forest: Hoodwinked 2018

Britain’s most familiar and best loved garden bird, the Robin, is notoriously antisocial, not only towards other bird species, but also its own. However, Nottingham will witness a round of Robins flock to its streets this Summer as part of Hoodwinked 2018, capturing the playful spirit of local legendary outlaw Robin Hood. This free public art trail is presented by Nottingham City Council in partnership with creative events producers Wild in Art and charity partner Nottinghamshire Hospice, for whom the Robin symbolises hope after the passing of a loved one.

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia has been commissioned to paint one of thirty-three Robins after her design entitled Green Man of Sherwood Forest was chosen to be sponsored by Benoy. Graham Cartledge CBE of Benoy writes: “We are delighted to show our support to Nottinghamshire Hospice, a very well-deserving local charity. The Hoodwinked initiative will attract visitors and locals alike, encouraging people in our community to connect through creativity – something that is at the heart of what our designers do at Benoy.” Lois has recently explored the theme of the Green Man in a variety of unusual art mediums, including paper-cutting, creative cartography, and upcycled plastic straws. Now she is preparing to paint the Green Man onto an unexpected canvas: a giant Robin statue.

On the subject of her involvement in the Nottingham art trail, Lois remarks: “Have you seen faces in the leaves of Sherwood Forest? Many folklorists claim that the legend of Robin Hood is derived from the ancient image of the Green Man, or related figures such as Jack in the Green or Robin Goodfellow (Puck). No surprise that Robin Hood is clothed in Lincoln Green. The mischievous outlaw could be hiding in any disguise! Speaking as a Wild in Art addict, I can’t wait to start painting my Robin for Hoodwinked. It means a lot to be part of this (my seventh public art trail), and I’m very grateful to Benoy for sponsoring Green Man of Sherwood Forest. I often link the Green Man with the legend of Robin Hood in Lincoln Green in my artwork. My partner Jason (appropriately also an archer) has kindly agreed to model for the Green Man.”

Lois will travel to Nottingham later this month to paint her design onto the Robin statue. She will be working in a public painting space in intu Broadmarsh. Lois welcomes an audience of all ages while she paints, so don’t be shy – come along on Monday 14th May circa 10.30 am – 4.00 pm, watch, ask questions, and be inspired! Please note: the full design of each Robin cannot be revealed until the trail goes live on Saturday 7th July 2018, but you can catch a sneak preview of work in progress on some of the Robins if you drop by at the painting space.

You can find Lois blog here:

http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/faces-in-the-leaves-of-sherwood-forest-hoodwinked-2018

Location of the Painting Space: intu Broadmarsh, Lister Gate, Nottingham NG1 7LB, on the ground floor next door to Made in Nottingham.


2018 Jack in the Green Update

I can now confirm that at least 17 Jacks have been spotted so far this year!

They are:

The Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green
The Oxford Jack-in-the-Green
The Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
The Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green
The Bovey Tracey (Grimspound Morris) Jack-in-the-Green
The Fowlers Troop (Deptford) Jack-in-the-Green
The Hammersmith Jack-in-the-Green
The Guildford Bush
The Bluebell Hill (Rochester Sweeps) Jack-in-the-Green
The Highworth Jack-in-the-Green
The Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green
The Dead Horse Morris (Whitstable) Jack-in-the-Green
The Bristol Jack-in-the-Green
The Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green
The Brentham Jack-in-the-Gree
The Isehara (Japan) Jack-in-the-Green
The Hever Castle Jack-in-the-Green

And on September 8th the wonderful Carshalton Harvest Jack in the Green will parade bringing the total number of 2018 Jacks to 18

There is always a possibility that I’ve missed a Jack or two and I would love to know if I have.

Full details and links can be found on our Annual Events Page

 

My thanks to @radicalhoneybee for allowing me to reproduce the wonderful picture of this year’s Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green at the top of this post.


Oxford Jack-in-the-Green

I’m pleased to announce that the Oxford Jack-in-the-Green was spotted on May 1st. He was accompanied by The Oxford University Morris Men.

The Oxford Jack-in-the-Green appears every year in Oxford on May Morning. OUMM (Oxford University Morris Men) introduced Jack-in-the-Green to their May Morning festivities in 1951. At that time they were unaware that a Jack-in-the-Green was a common sight in and around Oxford in the 19th century. The Oxford Jack is usually first seen near Magdalen Tower just before 6am and leads an informal procession up ‘The High’ to Radcliffe Square, where the first dance of the day: “Bonny Green” from Bucknell, starts at about 6.25am. Jack then moves through New College Lane and Broad Street, concluding with a massed ‘Bonny Green Garters’ outside St. John’s College in St. Giles around 8.30am. After breakfast the University & City Men usually take Jack to a display for the children of St. Ebbe’s school when May Morning falls on a weekday.

My thanks to Anne Louise  Avery for allowing me to use her wonderful picture.

If you spot a Jack in the Green please do send me in a picture for us to share on our blog and add to our free online Flickr archive where I hope to be able to add a picture of every Traditional Jack in the Green from every year.