A selection of images of Green Men, Oak Kings and Holly Kings
An Oak King. Fantasy pic from Rivendell Photo Studio
Churches and Cathedrals
Ancient Christian churches and cathedrals were built by stonemasons who were not necessarily Christians. In fact, it seems that many adhered to paganism, and left little rebellious clues to their true allegience, by carving iconic Green Men into the fabric of the buildings they were working on.
A famous example is the Green Man carved into one of the ceiling bosses of Norwich cathedral, and which is included in the following article:
The Green Man is also an inspiration for many modern sculptors. Here are a few websites where you might purchase your own Green Man, if you wish. And if you don’t wish, the realised images are worth a look, at least.
Stevenage Sword Dancers
I have been a member of Stevenage Sword for almost 40 years years now, and probably more by luck than judgement, our kit includes a Green sash with a green badge hand-sewn onto it of a fox-head enclosed by a ‘rapper lock’. The design was quite deliberate and has nothing to do with cruelty to foxes; it actually alludes to one of the oldest pubs in Stevenage New Town where we used to retire for urgent rehydration after our early practise sessions, called ‘The Twin Foxes’. The pub was itself was named for 2 notorious poachers who lived and worked in the area in the 16th Century – identical twins called Albert Ebeneezer Fox and Ebeneezer Albert Fox, and each worked alone. But on the the rare occasions that one of them got caught, he would claim it was a case of mistaken identity, and that it must have been his twin brother wot dunnit. This ploy apparently worked well for many years, until both brothers were caught simultaneously. They were both hanged for their misdemenours.
Our sash badge is shown on our website
Full Newbiggin rapper sword dance performed in St. Andrews Church, Whittlesey with yours truly as ‘Betty’, Jan 2015
Strohbären from Heldren, an agricultural town in Germany
Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival
Whittlesea Straw Bear – History
Whittlesea Straw Bear website
Peterborough Morris Men – Whittlesea Straw Bear page