Saturday, 8 April 2017

G is for... Green Children of Woolpit

This strange tale takes place sometime between the years 1135 and 1154, in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, UK.

It is said that during one harvest the villagers of Woolpit came across two children who appeared to be lost.
The children had green skin, wore strange clothing and only spoke in an unknown language.

The mystery children were taken back to one of the villagers houses where they refused all food except raw broad beans, which they gobbled down quite happily.

The children stayed in the village where they slowly started to eat a more normal diet and gradually lost their strange, green colour.

Once they had learned to speak English, they explained that they had come from a land where the sun never shone and the light was always like twilight. It is also said that everything was green in their homeland and that they said it was a place called St. Martin's Land.

The children couldn't quite explain their arrival in Woolpit, as they didn't fully understand it themselves. They were apparently herding their father's cows which they followed into a cave, where they became lost. They followed the sound of the cows bells and eventually emerged right where they had been found by the villagers.

The two children were eventually baptised, however, the boy became very sick and died soon after.

The girl went on to be employed for many years as a maid in a local house, but was often described as being '"wanton" and "impudent". 
It is thought that she eventually married a man from Kings Lynn, which was 40 miles away from Woolpit and had taken the name of 'Agnes'.

The village sign for Woolpit,dating from 1977, still stands today and depicts the two green children. 


  1. That's an interesting story. It reminded me of a story I recently read - Nail by Kell Inkston. It was also about people who lived in a cave underground where there was no sun and had strange practices.

  2. Fascinating. It would be interesting to know more. Maybe these children were the inspiration for the Smurfs!

  3. I have come across this story before. I heard that it was true and that there were ordinary medical reasons for the supposed greenness, but for the life of me I can't recall the details. Sorry!

  4. I like your theme! Work has kept me busy in the early stages of this challenge, and I just found your blog today. If you like LEGO, my challenge posts might be of interest to you!

  5. well, that's odd but not really. I thought the children might be some type of magical creatures but no, still a worthy folktale in a way because it makes you wonder what really happen

    have a lovely day.

    ~ How to be good ~

  6. I have always loved this story because it is so strange. It feels like an interesting mix of fairly lore and possibly some true events. We have a very similar story from Hungary, about a boy named Hany Istók.

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF - Weird Things in Folktales

  7. What a fascinating story! The sign is a bit creepy but somehow fitting for the tale. Thank you for sharing.

  8. What a crazy story! Wow. O_O
    My mind is buzzing with the potential for a plot.

    Thanks for sharing, Jodie!

  9. You are what you eat? Which, of course, leads to the question of whether the Fae were conducting an experiment...? Happy A-to-Z-ing.

  10. I've heard of this one! I don't know what to make of it though. I wonder if was true. It would be creepy cool if it was! I wish things like this would happen where they could be documented but then I figure those poor kids would be treated like an experiment instead of people now days. Same with the poor hapless stranded alien.

  11. Another "strange tale" I've never heard! Loving these daily doses of mystery and intrigue.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  12. What a peculiar story. But so, there shoudl be decendent of the girl somewhere?

    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

  13. A very strange mysterious. Love your blog!

  14. What a lovely story. Definitely sounds like one that could have a hint of truth.

  15. I've heard this story a few times and it always interests me. Such a strange mystery behind it.

  16. I have heard of this story before, but I didn't know what happened to the little girl. People could be strange and foreign when the world for most people was limited to just the small area around your village.
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - Dragon Diaries

  17. Interesting! There is a medical condition that causes the skin to turn green, a type of anemia. You have to wonder....

    "Female Scientists Before Our Time"