Green Children of Woolpit

“The sun does not rise upon our countrymen; our land is little cheered by its beams; we are contented with that twilight, which, among you, precedes the sun-rise, or follows the sunset. Moreover, a certain luminous country is seen, not far distant from ours, and divided from it by a very considerable river.”

The Children of Woolpit

The Green Children of Woolpit is a peculiar story from 12th century England. As legend goes, one day during harvest time, a boy and a girl with green-tinted skin emerged next to one of the wolf pits that gave the town its name. They did not speak English and refused all food except green beans, which they would eat eagerly.

The children were accepted into the village of Woolpit, adapting to the culture, learning the language and religion of the local people. Eventually, the children would learn to eat food other than greens and lost their green-tint.

Having learned English, the children were able to tell their story. According to the girl, she and the boy came from a land they called “St. Martin’s Land.” In St. Martin’s Land, it was twilight always and all was green. One day while tending to their father’s cattle, they heard a loud noise, similar to that of St. Edmund’s bells, and became entranced. Upon coming out of their trance, they had found themselves in the fields that members of the village of Woolpit were harvesting.

The boy would soon fall ill and die. The girl, later named Agnes, would grow up with a unique story of her own.

There are two main theories explaining the existence of the Green Children, one depicted in William of Newburgh’s Historia rerum Anglicarum (1189 a.d.) and the second in Ralph of Coggeshall’s Chronicum Anglicanum (1220 a.d.). The two theories indicate that the story of the Green Children is either a folktale describing an interaction with other-worldly beings or it is a “garbled account” of a historical event.

Are there other explanations for the Green Children of Woolpit? What happened to Agnes?

Listen as Skye along with Kat and Sam from Pub Dread discuss the peculiarities of the Green Children of Woolpit.

This episode can be found on iTunes, Spotify, GooglePlay, Podcoin, and Buzzsprout!

Sources for this episode include Wikipedia, Historic-UK, Historicmysteries.com, ancientorigins.net, and anomalyinfo.com

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