21st July 2018

Green Man Day in Pilton, Barnstaple

Pilton, a small part of Barnstaple in North Devon, was granted a charter to hold an annual market by Edward III between 1327 and 1377. Since then, this market has become so much more and is a major feature of the Green Man Festival. The introduction of the "green man" is a lot more modern. It dates from a recent revival after a lapse in festivities over several centuries.

Originally, The Green Man is an ancient symbol of nature and fertility, depicted in carvings in old churches such as the ancient Parish Church in Pilton. In 1982, the revival of the festival started with a two-month programme of activities when the Green Man character was introduced along with more stalls, a flower festival and lots of family activities. 

These days the Pilton Green Man festival takes place on one day a year but encompasses it's past with a range of activities. 

The main street in Pilton is decorated with bunting, and on the day itself, the market comes alive with food, drink, music, activities, a parade and pageant. 

The parade travels through Barnstaple, ending at Pilton. Fancy dress and handmade props tell a story as both schools and local groups take a walk down the main high street of Barnstaple. 

This event is a great way to mingle with the locals. From Saunton Sands, it's just a short drive to reach the town of Barnstaple. In the high street, you can watch the parade and then a stroll through a local park will lead you to Pilton to enjoy the stalls and the rest of the festivities.