About The Honourable Order of Woodwoses

Challenge TrophyAny one who completes the Green Man Challenge in under 24 hours is automatically entitled to become a member of The Honourable Order of Woodwoses.

The idea behind the Order is as old as the hills (or at least 1500 years). The scholar, Eric John described the idea thus:

The Anglo-Saxons believed that getting high on alcohol was a passport to mystical experience. They held what were called byttfylings round bonfires on high places. These events called for some organisation, and the groups responsible for that organisation were called gilds; the first example of what was to become a characteristic feature of medieval economic life. Contemporary Christian writers called them deoflumgylde, devil’s gilds. By the middle of the Anglo-Saxon period, they had lost their pagan connections, but their other activities continued, as I suppose, they still do.

 The name ‘woodwose’ comes from the Old English word wuduwasa, which means a wild man of the woods or, according to my stout brother ‘a mad b*gger’. On that basis, the Honourable Order of Woodwoses ought to be called Seo AEthelwuduwasendagyld. (The noble woodwoses’ gild.)

Exactly what this involves must await the will of the woodwoses, but there should be an annual byttfylling at least, and there should be be an obligation to offer help to aspirant woodwoses.

One Response to “About The Honourable Order of Woodwoses”

  1. Chris Bloor: the Community Forest Path | Forest of Avon Trust Says:

    […] those who complete the challenge inside 24 hours. There are currently 266 Woodwoses entered in the Forestal Book of the Honourable Order of Woodwoses. The number of people completing the challenge has increased considerably now that Ultrarunning Ltd […]

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