You may not realize it, but the scary rock watchers that adorn so many medieval buildings actually serve as gutters. Gargoyles are a fascinating architectural feature that also posses a special history rooted in mythological beliefs. Their history is intriguing, but it is also fairly obscure. They have been discovered in civilizations as old as ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. They also appear in modern cities like Paris and Washington D.C. They are often positioned with water spouting from their mouths. The form of the gargoyle itself reveals this complex history.
They seem to be sculpted in such a manner as to inspire both fascination and trepidation. Their grotesque appearance is meant to scare away malicious spirits. Gargolyles encountered some controversy in the 12th Century, as a prominent Catholic monk mounted a campaign against the objects he perceived as promoting ‘idolotry’ and an offense to God. Gargoyles are not only aesthetic and spritual; they serve a very important practical purpose as well. They function as gutter systems with equal proficiency as they do in their role as spiritual guardians. Down spouts are used to convey the water from the gutter through the mouth of the gargoyle.
Leaf Guards and Gargoyles
The down spouts within the gargoyle can work with leaf guards to provide superior performance. They route the rainwater, so it will not collect and attract bugs and other debris. Leaf guards are essential to the functioning of various gutter systems. They can work in conjunction with a gargoyle to prevent rainwater from collecting in the system. A gargoyle is not strictly necessary for an excellent gutter system, but one can never be too sure when it comes to evil spirits. If you believe in these legends, their presence can offer an extra layer of protection, so why take a chance?
Superstitions about gargoyles can be either positive or negative, but this distinction may reveal more about the viewer than the gargoyle itself. In fact, many people still view gargoyles in a favorable light, and their ability to function in gutter systems supports this perspective. They are believed to have the ability to protect the building and the people inside. Their frightening appearance is believed to ward off negative energy. As a bonus feature, they have useful down spouts that can function as a gutter drain to keep the runoff water from accumulating. What more could you possibly want from a gutter?