ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Green Children of Woolpit

Updated on May 31, 2012

Somewhere From Within the Midst of Thefford Forest

12th Century Subterranean Siblings

In 12th Century England, sometime between 1135 AD and 1154 AD, something incredible was reported to have happened...

In the Thefford Forest, on the approximate border of Norfolk and Suffolk, near a village called Woolpit, two strange, young siblings emerged from the mouth of a cave, wearing clothing unknown to anyone in the area, speaking a language nobody could understand. These siblings were children - a boy and a girl. Their skin appeared as green and their clothing seemed to have metallic qualities.

The boy and girl were immediately taken a few miles away to a place called Wikes (or Wakes), and placed in the care of a man named Sir Richard de Calne (or, perhaps de Colne). Here, people attempted to feed the young siblings, as they appeared to be starving. The children wouldn't eat for a long time and seemed not to recognize or simply couldn't eat most of the foods offered to them. Finally, beans still in the stalks or stalks-attached were offered and the children managed to eat a great deal of these with no ill effects, however, at first - the children didn't know what to make of these foodstuffs. They cried when the beans were first offered because once the stalks were opened, the lengths were empty...the children didn't know how to eat the beans but were obviously very famished and desperate to eat something. They had to be shown how to properly get the beans out of the stalks and then seemed quite satisfied and content to eat the beans. The boy and girl survived for several months on beans, which seemed very unusual to people from the Woolpit/Wikes region of England.

Green Boy Becomes Sick

The boy seemed to be the smaller and younger of the two siblings. Though he started to gain nourishment at first from the beans - and even managed to get used to bread, shortly thereafter, he took ill with some sort of depression. This younger sibling never recovered - his depression started, he grew steadily more sick and finally died.

His sister, however, seemed to regain health from the bean and bread diet and survived in the new environment.

No answer seems apparent as to why the sister managed to survive while the little green boy, her brother - did not.

Green Girl Learns To Communicate

The green girl managed to recover health on her bean and bread diet, and also gradually lost the green hue in her skin. Over some time, she managed to learn the local language and then was able to communicate.

Once it was possible for the girl to speak and be understood, she communicated that the little green boy who had already died was, in fact, her brother. She said they had lived at a place called, "the land of Saint Martin," and that in this place, a perpetual twilight was present. All the inhabitants of the land of Saint Martin had green skin such as she and her brother had had when they were first discovered.

The girl said that from her homeland a vast river separated her land from a 'luminous' land which could be seen faintly in the distance, but she was never able to retrace where these lands were.

Green Children Emerge From The Ground

Lured By The Sound of Bells

Once familiar with the language in the Woolpit/Wikes region, the previously green girl said that she and her little brother had been in their father's fields with his herds of livestock. From there, they followed some of the herd into a sort of cavern. In the cavern, the boy and girl had heard bells and were curious, so they followed the sounds of bells.

They walked through extreme darkness for a while, just following the bell sound, but suddenly came to an opening in the ground (the mouth of the cave), where the sunlight shone down and blinded them. The two lay for quite a while, blinded, and then heard the sounds of reapers in the fields above, which terrified them, so they rose up again and tried to flee...

It was at this point that, from the above-ground perspective, the children were noticed - by the reapers in the fields - who immediately took the children to be placed in the care of Sir Richard de Calne.

Swords in the Summer/Green Children of Woolpit Book available at Amazon

Green Girl Survives, Takes a Name

The green girl survived in her new environment, learned to communicate, adjusted to her new life, and became quite healthy, and took on a name, "Agnes." She ended up getting married, but became a widow while still quite young.

Agnes re-married and took on the name Agnes Barre. Apparently, her second marriage was to a man who was a senior embassador to Henry II.

Now, some say that Earl Ferrers is descended from Agnes Barre through intermarriages.

A Wonton Green Girl

Katherine Briggs (1898-1980) studied a version of this legend penned by 13th Century chronicler, Ralph of Coggeshall (d. approx. 1224, not later than 1227), whose version was simply called "Green Children."

From information in Ralph of Coggeshall's Green Children, Briggs summarizes that once the female child gained speech, health and some maturity, she married a local man but also "she was always rather free and wonton in her behavior." In this version, Briggs also notes that an addition to the details of the story by a William of Newburgh tells that the female child told the villagers who found her and her brother that their land of St. Martin was inhabited by Christians.

Briggs, was a renowned expert in folklore and fairy tales. Her book, The fairies in tradition and literature, informs that beans are traditionally the food of the dead and that the term "Martins" is also the term given to witches imps.

Briggs claimed that the Ralph of Coggeshall's version said that near the village of Wolfpits in Suffolk was where two green children were captured.

Lost History-History's Headlines 3 - With Some Acknowledgement of Green Children of Woolpit at approximately the 3 minute mark - 3.00

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mythbuster profile image
      Author

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Thanks for the info, film.

    • profile image

      film 7 years ago

      jolajin it is being made into a film. its being researched and will a script is in the making in New Zealand

    • mythbuster profile image
      Author

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Cybcon, your theory on why the little boy died while the sister didn't is interesting. I believe that those who have been severely starved do, indeed, need to work up gradually from simple to more complex and solid foods, however, I'm wondering also if the boy's mental/emotional state played a huge factor in why he didn't survive long.

    • profile image

      Cybcon 7 years ago

      I think I have a clue to why the boy died so let me get scientific on yo for a sec. When. People are starving their stummics shrink and any large amounts of food would overwelm and kill them so they build up to hard foods. So my thory is that the boy was not ready for bread just yet. as for why the are green I've not a clue.

    • profile image

      JOLAJIN 8 years ago

      THIS STORY HAS THE MAKINGS OF A MOVIE,SURPRISED NO FILM MAKER HAS COT ON TO IT YET.

    • mythbuster profile image
      Author

      mythbuster 8 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hi valornomad, I hope you return and let me know if you've heard a similar story before. There are a lot of stories and lore about children in the woods that nobody can explain. This is just one of them.

    • profile image

      valornomad 8 years ago

      our world sure has many mysteries yet to be revealed...

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Very interesting story. I wonder if it actually happened, and if so I would love to know the full truth of the matter.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)