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
Green Man of the month for August has long been one of my favourites and is also the one I adopted for the Company of the Green Man Website. I’m often asked where he comes from. He is one of an identical pair that reside on a wooden lych gate leading to Stanton St Quinton Parish Church (St Giles) in Wiltshire. The Church is on the main road through the village and also boasts a possible Sheela Na Gig hidden high on the church tower (For more info about these fascinating images look no further than John Harding’s Sheela Na Gig Project web site www.sheelanagig.org)
The Church dates back to the 12th C but the lych gate is possibly late 19th early 20th Century. The two carved wood green men are surprisingly small and are very easy to miss. They sit diagonally opposite each other at eye level on a carved border. The leaves sprouting from their mouths appear to be acanthus and the green men themselves are extremely unusual.
I am born on May Morning by sticks, bells, and ribbons
I am the sap in the dark root
I am the dancer with his six fools
I am the tump behind the old church
I am the lost soul under the misericord
I am the oak against the stars
I am the face that peers through the leaves
I am the fear in a childs mind
I am the demon on the roof-boss
I am killed in October and laid on church altars
I am the guiser on the bright bonfire
I am the old grain sown with the seed
I am the flame in the pumpkins grin
I am the spirit in the kern-baby’s bosom
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