A little fun today…

Before the invention of gutters on a house or building, there were gargoyles. Gargoyles have been around since the 13th century and some say even earlier. They were used at the top of stone buildings to spout water away from the building’s walls and foundations.

I really like gargoyles. I have a small one that I bought from the Cathedral in Washington, DC years ago. But if the stone creature on the building is not used for spouting water, it is called a grotesque.

While a gargoyle’s face was taken from the image of an ugly human, animal, or mythical or imagined creature, they had a purpose. If they weren’t used to spout the water away, they were thought to ward off evil. After all, a lot of them were on the tops of church buildings.

So, the next time you see an old building, don’t forget to look up. There might be one staring down at you!

Photo by Denis Oliveira on Unsplash


  1. Laurel, I love gargoyles, too! Every other year, I teach Humanities during the time period of Christendom. We study different types of cathedrals, many of which are lined with gargoyles and grotesques. There is, indeed, the idea that gargoyles are constructed to ward off evil spirits. According to folks like C.S. Lewis, Abbot Suger is St. Denis, John Ruskin and others contend this magnificent medieval architecture conveys the hope of Heaven through this specific decoration of the gospel— the truth that “the birds of the air find shelter in the mustard tree”, a symbol of the church. Evil cannot exist apart from good. Even the devil is God’s devil and can do nothing apart from Him.

    Thanks for posting! I enjoy reading your work!

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