‘Green men’ are faces with foliage sprouting from their mouths and are a common feature found in many medieval churches, although they have been found in important buildings since Roman times. There are said to be around 100 green men inside and outside Rosslyn Chapel. Historically, the green man symbolised the capacity for great goodness and the parallel scope for significant evil. The vines or foliage sprouting from the mouth are said to represent nature’s growth and fertility.
The Lady Chapel is a particularly good place to spot green men, including one on the end of a boss protruding from the east wall. You can also see them in between carvings of angels, at the tops of the pillars.
You can hear an early Christian explanation of the origins of the Green Man in our storytelling hoods, in the visitor centre.