Group Name – The Gargoyles
Your topic is the Medieval Cathedral

Focus primarily on the English Medieval Cathedrals. Look at the way they were built, the time and money needed to construct these structures. Why were they built? What role did the guilds have? What characterizes an English Gothic Cathedral? What role did the Church members have in their planning, etc.?


Canterbury Cathedral
Founded as a cathedral in 597, the earliest parts are from 1070, completed 1505, except the north west tower of 1834. Canterbury is one of the biggest cathedrals in England, and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is famous for the Norman crypt with sculptured capitals, the east end of 1175-84 by William of Sens, the 12th and 13th century stained glass, the “supremely beautiful” Perpendicular nave of 1379-1405 by Henry Yevele, the fan vault of the tower of 1505 by John Wastell, the tomb of the Black Prince and the site of the murder of St. Thomas Becket.



Gargoyles and English Medieval Cathedrals

Gargoyles are spouts that are usually carved like a grotestque face and/or figure and that project from a roof gutter. They're carved on the outside of buildings and their main purpose is to protect the foundation from rain water. A few were undecorated, but most were either zoomorphic or anthropomorphic. Gargoyles are mainly seen on English Medieval Cathedrals.

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Around 1200 A.D., the Roman Catholic Church was trying everything they could to convert people to their church and beliefs. Historians believe that the Church began putting images (gargoyles) on their cathedrals to attract people. Many people couldn't read, so images were very important. The Church also believed that since even those who didn't go to church associated religious images with animals and/or a mix of humans and animals, then putting gargoyles on their cathedrals would make visitors feel "comfortable."

Most cathedrals took centuries to build, although some took as little as 35 years. They were made with many (sometimes 70,000) tons of stone, limber, and lead. Cathedrals symbolized wealth. The wealthiest churches had the grandest buildings as cathedrals cost about £700,000 (£35 million today) to build. Each church was very proud of their wealth and cathedral.

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external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRBLMogUd9l-p3EwGkEq13WANgH6F45KKHUnWlXrc8BjPZh8gkQiw&t=1Salisbury Cathedral

English Gothic Cathedrals

Gothic architecture began around the end of the 1200's. It was tall, inspirining, and an improvement to the Romanesque buildings built earlier. There were three different styles of Gothic architecture: Early English Gothic Style (1200-1300), Decorated Gothic Style (1300-1400), and Perpendicular Gothic Style (1400-1500). Each style has its own characteristics. Some of the main characteristics are listed below.

  • Rose windows
  • Flying buttresses
  • Stained glass windows
  • Gargoyles
  • Pointed arch
  • Towers
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Wells Cathedral (Smallest and first English Gothic Cathedral)
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Gargoyles PowerPoint

Gargoyle Etymology & History
The Cathedrals of Britain
Gothic Architecture
Gothic Architecture: The Cathedrals


The gargoyles are still around today but they are just on the top of buildings and a myth says that the gargoyles on the top of the buildings are meant to watch over the people of the city. Thats what the gargoyles are very important like New York City that is one of the places that have the most gargoyles. Gargoyles are a half man half beast sometimes with wings. external image 6098LG.jpg


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These are just some examples of Gargoyles these are mythical creatures.Gargoyles sit on the top of buildings like churches, towers, appartments, etc.

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these are just a few examples of where gargoyles are. gargoyles have different faces and some are happy and some just look plain evil.

Note from Ms. Alexander -- I noticed that Dacia made her own page so I am adding a link to that information Dacia's Gargoyle Wiki