Why the Gargoyle?

The original purpose of a gargoyle was to drain water away from the sides of a building. The word comes from the French "gargouille" which means "throat or pipe." This idea originated long ago, as samples of gargoyles have been found from ancient Greece.

Life without Gargoyles (just plain rain spouts)

A half-done gargoyle

A fully evolved gargoyle

Strictly speaking, "gargoyle" refers only to these long-necked devices, but common usage refers to any grotesque sculpture used to decorate medieval churches.

How in the World did they come to be so strange?

Back to Natural and Unnatural History