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The Turvey Website The history and families of Turvey in Bedfordshire, England

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Cheeky Church Gargoyles

Please forgive me this little folly but I love Gargoyles!  They are such remarkable little things, sometimes grand and dignified, sometimes crazy and wild.  They are always interesting though.

Strictly speaking, a gargoyle has a water spout. Although these guys are atop of water pipes they do not have the water gushing from their mouths.  If the carving is not on a water spout then it is called a Grotesque.

So now you know the title of this page is totally wrong :-)

Turvey Church has some fine examples of the stone mason's work and I really felt I had to celebrate this wonderful art form.  Please take some time to enjoy these little cuties, and if you ever get the chance to visit Turvey church, be sure to say "hi" to them in person!

A strange creature guards the top of one of the drain pipes.  Is it a dog? A hell-hound, perhaps!

Click him to enlarge.

These characters are definitely human.  Are they kings or saints? Maybe they were modelled on local people, corbels often were.  Check out the cheeky face puller on the right!

These are animal faces. The one on the left is very like a dog but the others seem more like mythical beasts to me.  

The right hand one is very fierce!

Are these beasts or people?  I particularly love these 'wild men' grotesques.  There is something very pagan and ancient about them.

Are they there to guard the church against some ancient evil?  Or to remind the parishioners of the terrors of hell?

Or are they just for fun?