Sunday, 30 August 2015

Grotesques at St Mary's

The East end of St Mary's church is the oldest part of the building and dates from the early 1300s. It was built of sandstone and still supports the original oak roof timbers on walls 1.5 metres thick. The stonework around the windows end in grotesques.

This one is on the left hand side of the easternmost window and there is a similar one on the right.

A Grotesque is simply the carving of a face (or body and face) of an animal or creature on the side of a building. Ones that incorporate drainage spouts are termed gargoyles. Gargoyles are therefore a sub-division of Grotesques.

This one is in the middle of the window.

A contribution to Inspired Sundays.


  1. Really is a very old church. I like knowing that is well maintained. The grotesques images are very interesting.
    Thanks for sharing.

    (I came here through Sunday Inspired)

    (Excuse me my boldness but I would like to invite you to participate in my web of figures, sculptures, gargoyles ... of "animals", all kinds of animals.
    I give you the link if you want, of course: .
    Many thanks )

  2. Interesting features to say the least! Tom The Backroads Traveller

  3. I am always fascinated by grotesques.

  4. I love seeing those old figures. Were they a carryover from other religious practices? Meant to scare evil spirits away? It's strange that they are still put on churches. I had a photo of one from Wellsboro that I posted several weeks ago and its not an ancient structure like yours.

  5. I've always liked these aspects to architecture- they seem to be such characters.

  6. I'd like to take the first one (second photo) home please