For some time we have been puzzled by the apparently white nose of our ‘Green Man’ in the Priory ceiling. (OK, he’s actually painted golden, as are all the other ceiling bosses, but he is otherwise a Green Man, with vines growing out of his mouth and left eye.)
Today, however, we were able to solve that puzzle. The occasion was a planned visit from our Conservator, Mike Howden, coming to check on the state of our decorative angels and ceiling bosses, prior to our New Lighting and Visitor Welcome project. We had hired a ‘cherry picker’ so that he could get as close as possible to these features. When he came to examine the ‘Green Man’, it turned out that an enterprising spider had constructed an elaborate and extensive web on and around the nose. The web has been removed (we failed to apprehend the spider, whose whereabouts are currently unknown), and we now have a ‘Green Man’ with a nose as good as the day, around 1500, when it was first painted.
(Photographs by Matt Hey and Paul Middleton)