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Founded in 1991, our society consists of a
team of active reporters and field investigators who
factually gather, study and disseminate evidence relating to Earth Mysteries, (e.g. Ley Lines, Terrestrial Energies and Ancient Site Anomalies), Strange Aerial Happenings, (e.g. Unidentified Flying Objects or UFOs), and The Paranormal, (e.g. Spirit and Psychic Phenomena).

12th Century Legend of the Green Children of Woolpit , Suffolk, UK

The legend of the green children of Woolpit concerns two children of unusual skin colour who reportedly appeared in the village of Wool Pit in Suffolk, England, some time in the 12th century, perhaps during the reign of King Stephen. The children, brother and sister, were of generally normal appearance except for the green colour of their skin. They spoke in an unknown language, and the only food they would eat was beans. Eventually they learned to eat other
food and lost their green pallor, but the boy was sickly and died soon after he and his sister were baptised. The girl adjusted to her new life, but she was considered to be "rather loose and wanton in her conduct". After she learned to speak English, the girl explained that she and her brother had come from St Martin's Land, an underground world whose inhabitants are green.

One day at harvest time, according to William of Newburgh during the reign of King Stephen (11351154), the villagers of Woolpit discovered two children, a brother and sister, beside one
of the wolf pits that gave the village its name. Their skin was green, they spoke an unknown language, and their clothing was unfamiliar. Ralph reports that the children were taken to the home of Richard de Calne. Ralph and William agree that the pair refused all food for several days until they came across some raw beans, which they consumed eagerly. The children gradually adapted to normal food and in time lost their green colour. The boy, who appeared to be the younger of the two, became sickly and died shortly after he and his sister were baptised.

After learning to speak English, the children  Ralph says just the surviving girl  explained that they came from a land where the sun never shone and the light was like twilight. William says
the children called their home St Martin's Land; Ralph adds that everything there was green. According to William, the children were unable to account for their arrival in Woolpit; they had been herding their father's cattle when they heard a loud noise (according to William, the bells
of Bury St Edmunds and suddenly found themselves by the wolf pit where they were found. Ralph says that they had become lost when they followed the cattle into a cave and, after
being guided by the sound of bells, eventually emerged into our land.

According to Ralph, the girl was employed for many years as a servant in Richard de Calne's household, where she was considered to be "very wanton and impudent". William says that she eventually married a man from King's Lynn, about 40 miles (64 km) from Woolpit, where she
was still living shortly before he wrote. Based on his research into Richard de Calne's family
history, the astronomer and writer Duncan Lunan has concluded that the girl was given the
name "Agnes" and that she married a royal official named Richard Barre. 

The only near-contemporary accounts are contained in William of Newburgh's Historia rerum Anglicarum and Ralph of Coggeshall's Chronicum Anglicanum, written in about 1189 and 1220 respectively. Between then and their rediscovery in the mid-19th century, the green children seem to surface only in a passing mention in William Camden's Britannia in 1586, and in Bishop Francis Godwin's fantastical The Man in the Moone, in both of which William of Newburgh's account is cited.

Two approaches have dominated explanations of the story of the green children: that it is a
folk tale describing an imaginary encounter with the inhabitants of another world, perhaps one beneath our feet or even extraterrestrial, or it is a garbled account of a historical event.

The story was praised as an ideal fantasy by the English anarchist poet and critic Herbert Read
in his English Prose Style, published in 1931. It provided the inspiration for his only novel, The Green Child written in 1934
.

Our Lady of Woolpit:
Until the Reformation the church housed a richly adorned statue of the Virgin Mary known as
"Our Lady of Woolpit", which was an object of veneration and pilgrimage, perhaps as early as about 1211. There is a clear indication of the existence of an image of the Virgin in a mid-15th century will that speaks of "tabernaculum beate Mariae de novo faciendo" ("in making new/anew the tabernacle of Blessed Mary"), which sounds at least like a canopy or even a chapel for housing an image. It stood in its own chapel within the church. No trace of the chapel survives, but it may have been situated at the east end of the south aisle, or more probably on the north side of the chancel in the area now occupied by the 19th-century vestry.

Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Woolpit seems to have been particularly popular in the 15th and early 16th centuries, and the shrine was visited twice by King Henry VI, in 1448 and 1449.

In 1481 John, Lord Howard (from 1483 created Duke of Norfolk by Richard III), left a massive 7 9s as an offering for the shrine. After the Tudor dynasty had consolidated its hold on the English throne, Henry VII's queen, Elizabeth of York, made a donation in 1502 of 20d to the shrine.

The statue was removed or destroyed after 1538, when Henry VIII ordered the taking down of "feigned images abused with Pilgrimages and Offerings" throughout England; the chapel was demolished in 1551, on a warrant from the Court of Augmentations.

The Lady's Well of Woolpit:
In a field about 300 yards north-east of the church there is a small irregular moated enclosure of unknown date, largely covered by trees and bushes and now a nature reserve. The moat is partially filled by water rising from a natural spring, protected by modern brickwork, on the south side; the moated site and the spring constitute a scheduled ancient monument.

The spring is known as the Lady's Well or Lady Well. Although there are earlier references to a well or spring, it is first named as "Our Ladys Well" in a document dated between 1573 and 1576, referring to a manorial court meeting in 155758.[9] The name suggests that it was once a holy well dedicated like the church and statue to the Virgin Mary, and it has been suggested that the well itself was a place of medieval pilgrimage.[16] There is no evidence to suggest that there was ever a building at the site of the well, or even to support the claim of its being a specific goal of pilgrimage. In fact the well was on land held not by the parish church but by the chapel of St John at Palgrave.

At some unknown point, a local tradition arose that the waters of the spring had healing properties. A writer in 1827 described the Lady's Well as a perpetual spring about two feet deep of beautifully clear water, and so cold that a hand immersed in it is very soon benumbed. It is used occasionally for the immersion of weakly children, and much resorted to by persons of weak eyes. Analysis of the water in the 1970s showed that it has a high sulphate content, which may have been of some benefit in the treatment of eye infections.

Source: Wikipedia
Illustration by Hilary Porter