The term "Green Man" is thought to be a type of architectural feature from carvings at St. Jerome’s Church in Llangwm, Monmouthshire.
Lady Raglan wrote about the Green Man in her 1939 article in The Folklore Journal. The title was, "The Green Man in Church Architecture."
Interestingly, the tradition of the Green Man being carved onto Christian churches exists across Europe even to this day.
The Green Man is a legendary being, primarily interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, representing the cycle of new growth that occurs every spring.
Some people think that the Green Man was a bridge between the new beliefs of Christianity and the old pagan beliefs it replaced.
Others associate him with folklore.
Some say he is Jack in the Green, Robin of the Hood, or Herne the Hunter depending on which parts of England you’re in.
References to the Green Man can even be found in J.M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan - an eternally youthful boy, dressed in green and living in the forest with the wild animals.
The Green Man is usually seen as a human face surrounded by dense foliage. These images appear as far back as the eleventh century, in church carvings. As Christianity spread, the Green Man went into hiding, with stonemasons leaving secret images of his face around cathedrals and churches.
The Green Man can be found in many different guises.
When you come to The Dorset Pedlar you’ll find many examples like the ones on this page.