Exclusively for Members

An exclusive talk for Members of the Ashmolean

The In-person event takes place in the Headley Lecture Theatre and the online event will be held on Zoom.

Refreshments will be served at the start of the event in the Lecture Theatre at 3pm

For those who wish to take part in the optional pre-talk micro-pilgrimage, please meet at the Shrine of St Frideswide in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford at 2pm. Please note that tickets for this pilgrimage are now sold out.

Booking is essential. Tickets below.

With Dr Guy Hayward, Director of the British Pilgrimage Trust

In a place where so much 'green', earth-magic imagination – Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Dark Materials, Alice in Wonderland – has been borne, what is it about Oxford as a landscape that fosters this imagination?

This unique talk will detail Oxford’s history, religious significance, and geographies physical and spiritual, with guest speaker Dr Guy Hayward, Director of the British Pilgrimage Trust.

Guy's focus will be the prominence of St George, St Michael and Frideswide/Margaret as Green Men and Women of Oxford. 

Guy will discuss St George as the human Green Man due to his associations with the Green Dragon (Earth or Water, depending on your perspective), Archangel Michael as his heavenly counterpart, and how Frideswide and her two assistants are depicted as Green Women on the Shrine in Christ Church.

Other highlights include the Green Woman/Dragon carving of Margaret at St Margaret's Binsey (the place of the Treacle Well of Alice) and St Michael's tower at North Gate. The old St Michael's Gate at South Gate (Folly Bridge), is also notable. Guy will also delve into the history of the red and white dragons and the formation of Oxford in King Ludd's time.


Oxford skyline looking west from University Church Tower - courtesy British Pilgrimage Trust

Oxford skyline looking west from University Church Tower © British Pilgrimage Trust

Green Woman sculpture at St Frideswide Shrine, Oxford

Green Woman at St Frideswide Shrine, Christ Church © British Pilgrimage Trust

St Margaret's, Binsey, Oxford

St Margaret's, Binsey, Oxford © British Pilgrimage Trust

Guy Hayward photo by Emily Garthwaite - Oxford Pilgrims event

Guy Hayward, director of the British Pilgrimage Trust © Emma Garthwaite


Refreshments, Q&A, Book Signing, and Event Recording

  • There will be refreshments before the talk starts.
  • From 4-4.15pm there will be a brief Q&A and book buying/signing session. 
  • The talk will be recorded, and the recording will be distributed to ticketholders following the event.

About the pre-talk pilgrimage in Oxford - NOW FULLY BOOKED

For those who book tickets to join the pre-talk micro-pilgrimage in Oxford, please meet at the Shrine of St Frideswide in Christ Church Cathedral at 2pm. Here, there will be a talk from our guest speaker Dr Guy Hayward for about 45 mins. The group will then leave Christ Church to arrive at the Museum in time for for the talk at 3pm.

St Frideswide shrine, Christ Church Cathedral Oxford

St Frideswide Shrine, Christ Church Cathedral


This Members’ event offers an immersive, performative experience of the subject it explores. Please ensure you select your tickets correctly below.

About the speaker

Dr Guy Hayward is the Director of the British Pilgrimage Trust, which he co-founded in 2014 to promote the practice of 'bring your own beliefs' pilgrimage in Britain. He has been leading guided pilgrimages since 2016 and has been interviewed about modern pilgrimage for Netflix, BBC2‘s 'Pilgrimage' TV series and Channel 4’s 'Britain’s Ancient Tracks', contributes to Radio 4 and writes for the national media.

Guy completed a PhD at Cambridge on how singing forms community, co-founded the Choral Evensong Trust with Rupert Sheldrake to promote Britain's sacred choral tradition, and is half of comedy singing double act Bounder and Cad.


Tickets are £10 for the online talk and £15 to join in-person. Tickets are available exclusively for Members of the Ashmolean Museum.


Find out more about Ashmolean Membership: Become a Member