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Oddly grotesque

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

Posted as part of Becky’s SquareOdds and Hammad’s Weekend Sky

19 replies »

  1. And gargoyles are such nice creatures. Just ask Terry Pratchett: “In fact, I have never met anyone who didn’t like Gargoyles.” If I remember correctly – they are territorial (in that they stick to their own territory), never come below the second storey and are ever so polite. They are a bit difficult to understand since they can’t close their mouths, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t been up there for a while but hopefully it will open again this Easter. It’s great standing on top of all that history and admiring the views, in the company of a wonderful gargoyle. And I enjoyed your intriguing oddity

      Liked by 1 person

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