“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Suffolk’s Green Children

In Suffolk, 9 miles west along the A14 from Bury St Edmunds, there is a village called Woolpit. The village possibly got its name from a nearby pit that was used to trap wolves (a wolf pit), and it was near to this pit sometime in the 12th century where two weird visitors were reported to have been found. The visitors in question were a pair of children (a brother and sister) who looked like normal children except that their skin had a green colour to it and they seemed to speak in a strange language.

As the legend goes the children were looked after by the villagers, however it seems that the boy was ill and did not survive for very long. The girl seems to have adjusted to her new life and over the course of time eventually learned to speak English. The girl claimed that she and her brother came from a place called St Martin's Land, which she explained was an underground world where the inhabitants were green. It is believed that the girl eventually married a man from King's Lynn and may have eventually been buried in the town.

It is unclear whether the legend is based on some form of historical event or if it is just pure folklore. The legend is a staple for Forteans and numerous possible explanations for the legend have been proposed over the years. A very good in-depth summary of the tale can be found over at Karl Shuker's Eclectarium.

The below photos show some of the prominent features of the village including the village sign which depicts the fabled green children. Some of these photos have also previously featured on Andrew May's Forteana Blog.

The Woolpit village sign - with green children and a wolf.
Village sign - close up. 
Woolpit church.
Woolpit church.
Village information board.
Pictures, Suffolk (January 2012).

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