The Green Children of Woolpit

By | June 18, 2018

test article image

There are two historians with their own version of the tale about the Green Children of Woolpit. One of the historians is Ralph of Coggeshall and the other is William of Newburgh. Ralph claimed to have heard the story first hand from Richard de Caine himself and wrote about it in 1189 called the Chronicon Anglicanum. Ralph and William have their own version of the story, but the underlying tale is the same. William was a monk and historian and his version was only published around 1220. Supposedly he had sources that were trustworthy when remembering the tale of the green children of Woolpit.

test article image
Center Square, Woolpit

During the reign of King Stephen in the 12th century (1135-1154), there was an ancient story of two children, a brother and sister, who appeared to have green colored skin. They were discovered by a local worker who lived in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England. They were standing by a wolf pit, wolf-trapping pits which is apparently how the village got its name. These wolf pits were crafted in such a way to catch wild and dangerous wolves, so they were big, much taller than the children and took up at least two hundred square feet.

According to accounts, the children couldn’t remember how they arrived at Woolpit. All they could remember was they had been tending to their father’s cattle, got lost and followed the sound of bells chiming and suddenly found themselves by this wolf pit. Another account says they got lost after entering a cave and when they heard the bells followed the sound that in due course led the two to Woolpit.

A worker came upon the two children and took them into town. A villager and the chief landowner by the name of Sir Richard de Calne, took the children in to live with him.