Amid the soaring grandeur of arches and spires lurks a more down-to-earth architectural flourish: the grinning head of a gargoyle. Singly and clustered, these intriguing creatures form as distinctive an element of Gothic architecture as the flying buttress.
Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastical animal because the length of the gargoyle determines how far water is directed from the wall. When Gothic flying buttresses were used, aqueducts were sometimes cut into the buttress to divert water over the aisle walls.
The Gargoyles of Gothic Architecture. Gargoyles are decorative, monstrous little creatures, perched at along the roofs and battlements of gothic buildings and castles. Gargoyles have a practical purpose: they're spouts, enabling rainwater to drain off the roof and gush through their mouths, before plummeting to the ground. (Guttering is a relatively recent innovation!).
The buttresses enabled Gothic architecture to become lighter, taller and afford a greater aesthetic experience than before. Gargoyles The gargoyle (derived from the French word gargouille, meaning gargle) is a sculptural waterspout, placed to prevent rainwater from running down masonry walls.
Gargoyle, in architecture, waterspout designed to drain water from the parapet gutter. Originally the term referred only to the carved lions of classical cornices or to terra-cotta spouts, such as those found in the Roman structures at Pompeii. The word later became restricted mainly to the
Common Gothic features include the pointed arch, the rib vault, buttresses, stained glass, and buildings that were shaped in the form of a cross. In addition, many cathedrals were heavily decorated with gargoyles, griffins, dragons, and other beastly, scary looking creatures. The Gothic style of architecture prevailed for around four hundred years.