Icons of England
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The Green Man

282 of 1160 nominations


The Green Man

Is this an icon?


The Green Man

His face is a symbol of our ancient past, and in a lot of ways represents the love of green spaces in our country and the flora of the land, which I feel is a unique English trait. He also participates in the Jack-in-the-Green festivals across the country, where he is a symbol of the coming summer and new beginnings. The Green Man is also on many of our oldest and most important church facades. I think these reasons justify this as a timeless icon.

James Pond


Your comments

The mysterious yet omnipresent Green Man is already an icon. He links us with England's pagan past and reminds us of our deep and sacred relationship with the natural history of these islands. He represent the spirit of the ancient forests, at once terrifying and protective, and the natural cycle of birth, death and rebirth. As old as time himself, he has become a familiar image to us all. Adopted by medieval stonemasons, this elemental pagan image peers at us from the roof bosses and columns of hundreds of our oldest churches and from the T-shirts of young festival goers, a witness to the changes of centuries, yet as unchanging as the very earth from which he springs. He is Jack-in-the-Green, Robin Hood, Herne The Hunter and the Celtic god Cernunnos. An icon for respect for our beautiful country and its past, but also perhaps a unifying champion for the coming environmental battle for its future.
T L Coltham

it symbolises our historic link with the Greenwood
Roger Cartwright

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My nomination is the garden shed.