Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches - Gargoyle Definition

History and Architecture

Gargoyle

A gargoyle is a carved figure used to oranament a drainpipe or spout carrying water away from a church roof or tower. The term is sometimes used to refer to any carved mythical beast on a church, but technically a gargoyle was a specific kind of carved figure used on drainspouts. To be pedantic, a figure used for purely ornamental purposes is a grotesque rather than a gargoyle. Gargoyles often depict mythological beasts, frequently with terrifying or humourous expressions.

Similar terms: grotesque, hunky punk

Related: Grotesque   Hunky Punk  

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