Clock Tower, St Albans, Hertfordshire
Gargoyles, these charmingly grotesque figures, date back as far as Ancient Egyptian architecture and, in more recent times, became a common feature in Gothic architecture. They were designed to act as a spout to convey water from the roof and/or gutter, hence the word’s derivation from the French ‘gargouille’ meaning throat, but are also used to indicate a guardian ensuring the banishment of all evil spirits.
The Clock Tower featured here was built between 1403 and 1412, and the gargoyles were added as part of a serious renovation project in the mid-nineteenth century.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 19 February 2022