During my trips to Scotland, I'm always fascinated by the gargoyles that seem to be everywhere I look. There was a pair at St. Magnus Cathedral on Orkney Island, where one gargoyle appeared to be shouting at the other, whose hand up to his ear as if he were trying to hear. And Stirling Castle has quite a few gargoyles and grotesques hanging about, as well as do many of the other castles built during the 13th century and after. Gargoyles can be found in Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Roman and Ancient Greek architecture although they are most commonly associated with Medieval Gothic architecture.
Gargoyles were usually carved in the form of a grotesque face, figure or frightening creature projecting from a roof gutter. Some were painted and some were even gilded, and might depict any number of grotesque images including ugly human faces, animals, mythical creatures, or imaginary creatures. Those combining several animals are called "chimeras" Stone masons had free choice of what their gargoyles should look like, and no two gargoyles are exactly the same.
Gargoyles served two purposes. First, they provided a method of drainage which protected the stones and the mortar of churches, cathedrals and castles from erosion. Second, they were considered guardians of the buildings to ward off evil.
I hope you enjoyed reading about gargoyles!