The Green Man in Stoke-on-Trent

A Green Man is a sculpture, drawing, or other representation 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.

The simplest depict a man's face peering out of dense foliage. Some may have leaves for hair, perhaps with a leafy beard. Often leaves or leafy shoots are shown growing from his open mouth and sometimes even from the nose and eyes as well. In the most abstract examples, the carving at first glance appears to be merely stylised foliage, with the facial element only becoming apparent on closer examination.

Primarily the Green Man is interpreted as a symbol of rebirth, or "renaissance," representing the cycle of growth each spring.

 



Green Man on the fašade of Jackson's Buildings

on the fašade of Jackson's Buildings , Church Street, Stoke - installed 1899


Green Man on the fašade of Lion's furnishing shop

on the fašade of Lion's furnishing shop, Church Street, Stoke - installed c.1890-1910


ceramic capitals at Stoke Market depicting a Green Man-type face amongst foliage

ceramic capitals at Stoke Market depicting a Green Man-type face amongst foliage

ceramic capitals at Stoke Market depicting a Green Man-type face amongst foliage
installed 1900


Green Man on the fašade of building at corner of Pall Mall

Green Man on the fašade of building at corner of Pall Mall

Green Man on the fašade of building at corner of Pall Mall

three of the panels with a face within a design of foliage and scrolls
on the fašade of building at corner of Pall Mall, Hanley - installed 1896


close up of the 'green man' face

close up of the 'green man' face
On fašade of restaurant building, Pall Mall, Hanley - installed 1895


On the first storey fašade between shop frontages on Percy Street, Hanley - there are two panels depicting Green-Man type faces  On the first storey fašade between shop frontages on Percy Street, Hanley - there are two panels depicting Green-Man type faces

On the first storey fašade between shop frontages on Percy Street, Hanley
there are two panels depicting Green-Man type faces
- installed
late 19th century