The Green Man - pub history

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The Green Man - pub history

Postby Daffodil » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:09 pm

Can any of you help me with a bit of research please?

The village I grew up in, and where my Mum still lives, has a pub called the Green Man. I did not realise the significance of this until years after I had left the area, but it always intrigued me as a child.

Does anyone know much about why pubs were called 'The Green Man'? I know it is quite a common name for a pub, but I wasn't sure why.

I have been trying to research the history of the village and the pub, but I can find very little about it on the internet. I am hoping that my Mum might know more, but it is not her birthplace so she did not grow up there.

Please forgive me if I sound ignorant, I really don't mean to be. I am still finding my own spiritual path and therefore not as knowledgable as some of you are.
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Postby Carprimulgidae » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:25 pm

Hi Daff

I believe Mike Harding the folk singer wrote a book all about tracing the green man. have a look on somewhere like Amazon and search for it, you may see reviews too :?:

worth a try, hope it helps :wink:
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Postby iWitch » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:45 pm

Mike Harding has a website, but I could find no mention of pubs on it. :(
Last edited by iWitch on Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Carprimulgidae » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:48 pm

iwitch, i remember seeing a program on him years ago and know he mentioned churches etc so just thought there could be pubs mentioned too.

it was intresting i just wish they would repeat it.
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Postby kit » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:26 pm

Well, Daffodil, you (and everyone else who's read the books) know my theories on this. I've seen so many village pubs called The Green Man. I put all this fascination with it into Stonewylde. Jack in the Green is of course the Green Man and it's the village pub. It's on the Village Green. It's the place where all the folk gather together. And you may remember Prof. Siskin's theory about why there's a Village Green in the first place. This is all my own theory of course but it works for me. First ever gathering place for people - and eventually morphs into a pub! :idea:
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Postby Carprimulgidae » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:29 am

old Prof. Siskin's
my fav Character but wont say more. funny thing is i can picture this man as if he was standing in front of me.
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Postby Greymalkin » Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:18 am

Most pubs get their names because of some local significance. For example, pubs with the names of former Kings or Queens or called 'The Rose and Crown' or 'The Crown and Sceptre' or 'The Red Lion' are usually in areas that have had some kind of royal connection in the past - albeit very tenuous links.
Pubs called 'The White Hart' are usually in areas that were once good hunting ground.
'The Green Man' pubs are usually found in rural areas probably because of some leftover link from the areas pagan past.
That's not always true of course, there are plenty of 'Green Man' pubs in cities but that's probably because it's become one of the most popular pub names in recent years.
Modern pub names just seem to be made up, I mean, 'The Frog and Radiator'???
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Re: The Green Man - pub history

Postby cornmother » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:07 am

Image

Daffodil wrote:Can any of you help me with a bit of research please?

The village I grew up in, and where my Mum still lives, has a pub called the Green Man. I did not realise the significance of this until years after I had left the area, but it always intrigued me as a child.

Does anyone know much about why pubs were called 'The Green Man'? I know it is quite a common name for a pub, but I wasn't sure why.

I have been trying to research the history of the village and the pub, but I can find very little about it on the internet. I am hoping that my Mum might know more, but it is not her birthplace so she did not grow up there.



Hi Daffodil
I won't go into all the different types of GM - there are plenty of books on that - but your question about the pub name was an interesting one. Looking in Prof. Ron Hutton's book The Stations of the Sun (and he's one person who I respect tremendously) he writes, in discussing the origins of Jack in the Green:

"In 1939 a member of the Folklore Society, Lady Raglan, suggested that the figure could be linked to the mysterious heads carved in late medieval churches, which have foliage entwined about them and often sprouting from mouth and nostrils. She attached to these the name ‘the Green Man’, taken from a popular pub sign displaying a forester, and suggested that both the May Day character and the carved heads were representations of pre-Christian deities or spirits of nature and fertility."

So perhaps originally the name did come from a worker such as a Forester, and then the whole GM thing took over. As Greymalkin says, it's now a very popular pub name. Were there local connections with forestry?

Any other theories?

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Postby Greymalkin » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:32 am

'Green Men' pubs are also more common in farming communities. Maybe your Mum's village was once (or still is) a farming village.
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Postby solsticedreamer » Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:28 pm

Greymalkin wrote:Modern pub names just seem to be made up, I mean, 'The Frog and Radiator'???


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Carprimulgidae » Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:02 pm

we had a pub up the valley from me called "the colliers arms" it was called that from the very beging very many moons ago.
some bright spark in their wisdom decided to rename it "the rowan tree" maybe they thought it would sound more upper class :roll:

I have never seen a green man pub sign in wales, we really do miss out.
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Postby Brooke » Fri Oct 31, 2008 7:56 pm

Hi Daffodil

This is a really interesting question! There is a Green Man pub at the end of my road and each time I drive by I think about how it got it's name.

In the Abbey church here I have spied some Green Man references : eg.


Image

I have a friend that has grown up here and knows all the history so I am going to ask her. Will let you know if I find out anything interesting.

Thanks for asking this and getting me thinking! :lol:

xx
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Postby sea sprite » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:04 pm

That's a fab GM Brooke :D I must keep my eyes peeled a bit and see if I can spot any.
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Postby Greymalkin » Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:16 am

I tell you another thing I don't understand, I have two churches in my local area with two whacking great pentagrams on them.

Why would churches have such an ancient occult symbol on them?
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Postby Daffodil » Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:44 am

Thank you so much for all the replies. I am even more fascinated now than I was before.

Greymalkin, you are absolutely right. The village I grew up in is rural and indeed a big farming area. If anyone is interested it is called Stallingborough (which is the longest name of a railway station outside of Wales, for all you trivia boffins!) and it is in North East Lincolnshire. Although the surrounding areas are becoming more and more built up and industrial plants are springing up all around it, it still remains quite a rural type of village.

The pub used to have a full length green man as its pub sign, but it changed quite sometime ago to just a head.

Kit, I too love the idea of it being a gathering place prior to the pub being built. I have found some research on the village about a medieval settlement where they found earthworks and buried remains at the opposite end of the village, which is about a mile end to end. I actually grew up within a few hundred meters of this settlement, which has been classed as a national monument (no. 34711) and I can't believe I have only just found out about it.

So far I am yet to even find out how old the pub is, but I am certainly going to continue looking into the village's history. My husband, Chunky, has bought me a book about The Green Man and hopefully that will shed some light on the history of naming pubs after the Green Man.

I will let you know if I find out anything interesting.
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