Architecture · Art History · Gargoyle of the Day · Gargoyles

Gargoyle of the Day: Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, England

bamburgh_gargoyle_-_geograph-org-uk_-_16063
Bamburgh Castle grotesque. Photo by Gary Rogers via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D.
This rather distressed-looking grotesque lives on Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, England. He sticks out his tongue and pokes at something inside his mouth, as though he’s having some dental problems. I can’t help but feel a little sorry for this odd little dude. He belongs to a subset of gargoyles and grotesques known as “mouth pullers” – figures that use one or both hands to pull their faces into strange, humorous, or disturbing shapes. Mouth pullers were common in Gothic architecture, but their meanings, like those of gargoyles and grotesques in general, are still not generally agreed upon. The oldest surviving portions of Bamburgh Castle date to somewhere around 1000, but the building has been added to, restored, and altered many times up through the present day, so it’s unclear when this grotesque was carved.

Advertisements

One thought on “Gargoyle of the Day: Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, England

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s