A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing or stained glass panel of a face surrounded by (or made from) leaves.
Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face, and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit.
Commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, Green Men are frequently found on carvings in churches and other buildings (both secular and ecclesiastical).
Superficially the Green Man would appear to be pagan, perhaps a fertility figure or a nature spirit, similar to the woodwose (the wild man of the woods), and yet he frequently appears, carved in wood or stone, in churches, chapels, abbeys and cathedrals, where examples can be found dating from the 11th century through to the 20th century.
To the modern observer the earlier (Romanesque and medieval) carvings often have an unnervingly eerie or luminous quality. This is sometimes said to indicate the vitality of the Green Man, who was able to survive as a symbol of pre-Christian traditions despite, and at the same time complementary to, the influence of Christianity. Rather than alienate their new converts, early Christian missionaries would often adopt and adapt local gods, sometimes turning them into obscure saints!
Whatever his original significance may have been, many modern churchgoers are said to characterise the Green Man as "the archetype of our oneness with the earth".
The editor of this web site has to admit to a fascination with The Green Man, particularly where he has been portrayed in Stained Glass. The next section of this page deals with contemporary examples, and the lower half of the page with earlier versions of the green man.
Click here for early examples
This Green Man is so good. Found on Sarah's Domestic Gallery.
The really interesting thing is that this is a FIRST project. Pretty good for a novice. Nice and traditional with the leafy look.
Produced by Daniel and Deborah Burke at Lightworks Stained Glass. The work was executed in mouth-blown cylinder glass and has been hand painted, kiln fired and leaded in the traditional manner. It is a display and competition piece.
Cathy Grave's Green Man was added in 2015. An exciting contemporary panel from Kent.
This Green Man added in 2014, is from Jayne Hannon. "After 9 years of living in our Victorian semi, in an area of Birmingham well known for Arts & Crafts, I have found out today that the stained glass over our front door depicts a Green Man!
The colours in my photo do not really do it justice, they are very vivid."
Must be at least 130 years old.
This Green Man added in 2013, is from Amy McCarthy. He is part of a "Nature Trail" in Green Yarner Wood. The wood, an English Nature reserve outside
Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor, is being restored to a Western Oak Wood, and this Green Man in glass, is situated on the Nature Trail.
Added in 2013, this Green Man is unusual for his subtlety.
Lisa says: I've been doing a fair bit of exhibition work recently and was asked to make something inspired by Wanstead Park, London. The surrounding land includes the Green Man Roundabout....so roll it all together and I had to make a Green Man! He's 80cm x 80cm and is leaded in the traditional way. He took many hours of painting and firing.
His face is based on Terry Nutkins, the naturalist from 80's and 90's TV. ( I did try to contact him to see if he minded but he must be squirrelled away in some undergrowth somewhere ?? )
Click here for Lisa's web site.
Rather good for a modern one. A great panel.
Found by the late Tony Banfield on the Down East Stained Glass (U.S.A.) web site.
They vote for group winning designs every month, do some free patterns and generally promote stained glass. This Green Man was their winner in February 2004.
Artisan Stained Glass' own Green Man leaded window was hand painted by Maria King and made by Tom King, (owners of ARTISAN), based in Sale, Cheshire.
It was produced for a client in Knutsford, early two thousands.
It still receives attention on their web site, and deservedly so.
Sunrise Stained Glass, Southsea, have these marvellous windows on their web site.
A lady to add to our collection from the web site of Art of Glass in Cornwall.
The panel of the Green lady was a panel that I made for my home. The face was painted using reuche glass paints, the outside pieces are leaded glass with leaves and trees sandblasted onto them.
Click on either picture for a larger view.
An excellent modern interpretation, except that I do not think he should be smiling. Tamasine Pritchard no longer has a web site.
This Green Man was found on the Crafters.org web site. It is by an unknown artist who took a course in early 2009, and this is her first project. He might be a simple Green Man, but he is an amazing piece of work for a first project.
Added in November 2010.
Another leafy one. Not spooky enough for me!
Added in October 2009. This is a modern interpretation with the green man placed as on overlay on the door panel. He has a great expression.
Dan Beal from Elland, West Yorkshire sent us the link to his great creations. The eyes in the Green Man are fascinating!
Click the image for a close up of the eyes, and here for his personal gallery collection.
Dan created his Green Man in the Paul Lucker Designs studio which has closed.
Two images from Martin Young's web site. These are modern panels, one traditionally painted, whereas the glass itself does the talking on the other.
Michelle Burnettof Hertfordshire's Green Man
Another excellent modern interpretation. Quite something with his cruel smile.
No web site details to hand.
Found on the web by Tony Banfield.
A great blend of modern style with traditional techniques and an amazing design. Unbeatable.
Jan Singleton's Green Man is unusual in that he is not looking directly at you. Sent in as a Green Man example, but maybe not originally planned as one. I like him anyway.
Jan's web site...
This photo of a green man panel, apparently dated 1865 (but this may be a commemorative date), was sent in by Roel Hildebrand, "Glas in Lood", of Alkmaar in Holland.
Bought by Roel as a loose panel. He is not certain of its age or whether it is German or Dutch. Very good condition and very detailed.
St Mary the Virgin, Upton Scudamore, Wiltshire has two pairs of lancet windows added in the 1850s.
All four windows have an identical tree and Green Man as a background and in each case the tree climbs from the figure's mouth at the base of the window to the full height of each window.
Holy Trinity, Long Melford, Suffolk has 15th C windows with two green men, rather beast like.
18th century stained glass Green Man to be found in the church at ZEAL MONACHORUM, Devon.
This Victorian hand painted stained glass panel of the Green Man was found on the Stained Glass page of Cox's Architectural Salvage
They sold it (in 2007) for 475.00 + V.A.T., a bargain in my view.
Please note that this listing is not in any particular order, and is not intended to favour any web site. It simply favours the editor's taste.
Any comments on the Message Board.
Any stained glass Green Man or Woman to let us know about? Send the editor an e-mail using the e-mail link on the site menu (below).
We have received a wealth of images so please note, the Editor will only add exceptional or very unusual Green Men to this page.
We list sites from world wide.
All traditional stained glass & fused glass URLs are invited for consideration.
For a URL to be considered for the registers of Studios they must conform to all of the following criteria:
The site is primarily stained glass
The premises location has been made known to us
Any studio MUST be manufacturing its own stained or fused glass items
Resellers of glass, hardware, patterns or products are not eligible for inclusion in the studio registers
You should note that this is primarily a UK site
All bona fide UK studios, professional and amateur are usually listed
Traditional stained and fused glass sites from abroad or overseas that subscribe, and that conform to the above requirements of manufacturing their own products, etc., will usually be listed
We reserve the right to exclude any site