She wanted to take me to Lacock and I wanted to go. The green man was always a special symbol to me and I know not why. I ended up naming my business after it, couldn’t even remember why I chose it, likely it had something to do with drink.
The green man at Lacock Abbey is special, as it’s believed to be a green woman, which are rather rare. To be technical, it’s classified as a Disgorging Head, where the vegetation sprouts from the mouth only. It could be a man, but typically green men have more manly features, whereas this one is most decidedly delicate. Her eyebrows have been thinned and she wears eyeliner as well. The cloisters where it can be found, along with a couple other green men, mermaids and other fantastic ceiling bosses was built in the fourteenth century, so she’s been disgorging her foliage now for well over half a millennium.
Perhaps it could be that the abbey was founded for women, rather than male monks, and they took a feminist approach.
Nobody really knows what the green man symbolizes, and it’s quite likely that it developed in different places and meant different things in different cultures. It’s quite unlikely that an Abbess would commission carvings of pagan subjects after all.
There are mysteries all over the ceiling of the cloisters of Lacock Abbey. Mysteries go on around us all the time, without our knowledge, and it’s only when they’re long past that we realize we’ve forgotten their meaning, and realize what all we’ve lost.
What we forget disappears, eventually even memories fade. But I’ll never forget that afternoon in Lacock Abbey, when I fell even more in love with my own green woman.