Bat Gargoyles

 There are two prominent bat-shaped gargoyles on the Mansion clock tower. The bat roosts inside the house are known to have existed in the 1940s. The presence of these gargoyles suggests that the bats have been in this spot in the valley for a bit longer!

The pictures above show one of the gargoyles close-up, taken when scaffolding was up during the restoration of the clock tower in 2003. The image below, taken from the rear, shows the iron grille which prevents any rubbish washed into the gutter lodging in the water channel through the gargoyle. These gargoyles are not in an easily accessible position, so this is important.

The gargoyle is essentially a decorative waterspout. It throws rainwater away from the building, so it does not soak into the permeable limestone walls, causing dampness, or erode away the softer mortar. ‘Gargoyle’ comes from the old French word gargouille, meaning ‘throat’. The four large gargoyles on the south front of the Mansion also help to keep the rainwater clear of the foundations.

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Woodchester Mansion,

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