Green Men fun to welcome Spring

Sisters Megan, six, and Lauren three enjoyed the trail with their aunt Jo RalphA TRAIL of clues helped young visitors track down the symbolic Green Men carved high on the chapel ceiling at mysterious Woodchester Mansion near Stroud.

The special children’s event at the Victorian Gothic masterpiece was a chance to teach girls and boys some of the mythology of the Green Man, who dates back to pagan times and is emblematic of spring and rebirth.

“We have two Green Men at Woodchester Mansion with leaves coming from their forehead and cheeks, almost mask-like,” said volunteer Liz Davenport, chairman of the Volunteers Liaison Group at the Mansion, who organised the trail and a small explanatory exhibition for the grown-ups.

Woodchester Mansion was unexplainably abandoned mid-way through construction in 1873.  Its unfinished state therefore gives visitors a unique glimpse of the stone mason’s stunning craft.

Its ornate Green Men are thought to either depict the building’s architects Charles Hansom and Benjamin Bucknall or were perhaps designed by the builder’s daughters who modelled them on earlier Green Men.

Woodchester Mansion is open nearly every day until 31 October.

May 2015

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