Beltane seems an appropriate day for this post so I’ve held it back for a day from the usual Tuesday. The Greenman is a figure of pagan origin, who walks through the forest and woodlands at the end of winter waking all the plants by tapping his hazel cane upon the ground. Adopted into cathedrals and churches possibly around 400AD, the figure is often said to represent an aspect of God the creator. Sometime I suspect that they just had a mason who was really, really keen on carving them.
According to a friend who’d be qualified to know, Norwich Cathedral is Greenman Central. The Greenmanity starts well before the church proper. These two examples are from the Ethelbert gate, built in the 11th, 13th and 14th centuries.
The next set are from the cloister, the paint is modern but follows the original colours. We started at the door in south western corner and went around the cloister in a clockwise manner.