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An English ham stone lion-head gargoyle,
the projecting block carved as a lion's head with lenticular eyes, a nose with nostrils still just descernable, and a flowing mane carved to each flank, drilled for a water-spout, the fine carving weathered, roughly hewn to the reverse, (lacking lower jaw that was doubtless carved on a seperate subordinate block)
Gargoyles are celebrated as the most playful element of medieval church architecture, an area where the stone masons were thought to be given a fairly free rein. The purpose was to channel the large quantities of rain run-off from the considerable expanse of church roof, through the parapet and jet it out and away from the building so as not to erode the facade below and not pool in the foundations.
Gargoyles were fashioned from a wide spectrum of patterns - some devilish, some thought to be portraits or characatures, with various traits often seen repeated such as mouth-pullers. Beasts - both fowl and fauna - are prevalent and here a lion. Now much weathered, what was evidently a finely carved sculptural head with a lively flowing mane is still descernable.