March 25th, 2021

Green Woman

Green men are common. Poke around any medieval church that was financed by people rich enough to afford sculptural fancywork and you're likely to find at least one. Green women are much rarer. Here's one from the 14th century tomb of Gervase Alard, Lord High Admiral of England. I like the way the leaves spread out on either side of her head as if they were her hair.

The entire tomb looks like this. It's in Winchelsea. The green woman occupies the height, placed in the middle of the central pinnacle.

But what nobody knows is whether the masons who filled our churches with esoteric imagery were simply making pretty or deliberately dropping hints- for those wick enough to catch on- that there was more to God's creation than the priests were prepared to tell.