Grinning face was a surprise

PUBLISHED: 11:14 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 May 2010

Grinning face

Grinning face

WHILE taking pictures for the new Melbourn Church guide, Peter Simmonett did not expect to find a strange face grinning back at him. But as he looked through his long camera lens at the church roof that is exactly what happened. The face was that of the G

WHILE taking pictures for the new Melbourn Church guide, Peter Simmonett did not expect to find a strange face grinning back at him.

But as he looked through his long camera lens at the church roof that is exactly what happened.

The face was that of the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol often found in churches - in fact Canterbury Cathedral has at least 70 of the characters.

Colin Limming of the Melbourn History Group said: "Peter was taking pictures of all the shield bosses and crests and came across the face in the roof supports.

"It is quite difficult to see."

The face, left, is often a detailed stone carving of a man's face immersed in foliage and has long been assumed to be the symbol of fertility.

The latest church guide will be available soon, containing the history and pictures of the church.

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