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Further Information

Contact: Heritage Support Officer
Telephone: 0116 3056187
E-mail: wildlife@leics.gov.uk
Gargoyle photo by David MorleyProject Gargoyle logoGargoyle photo by David Morley
Leicestershire has a wealth of wonderful medieval art decorating its churches. But so far no one knows exactly what we've got.
Project Gargoyle is a voluntary scheme to photograph all the figurative carvings in the county's churches and build up a database for further study.
About 300 churches in Leicestershire have figurative carvings – some with only a few and some with very many. At this stage we do not know how many there are in total but a best guess is at least 10,000 figurative carvings in the county.
The photographs and associated information will form part of the county's Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record.

Project Gargoyle Phases

Project Gargoyle has three main phases:
  • Phase One
    The pilot phase took place during 2009.
  • Phase Two
    The main survey phase where Heritage Wardens and volunteers survey and record all the churches in Leicestershire and Rutland. This started in February 2010 and is ongoing. So far more than one-third of the carvings have been recorded.
  • Phase Three
    Once the photographs and associated details have been gathered, we hope to setup a system enabling the more detailed process of cataloguing different 'motifs' and making stylistic comparisons. This will be carried out by volunteers working from home; the timing for this is currently open-ended. A ‘pilot Phase Three’ is planned for 2014.
  • Leicestershire County Ccouncil's staff will also incorporate the images and information into the Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record database.

Who is Managing Project Gargoyle?

Project Gargoyle is part of Leicestershire's Heritage Warden Scheme administered by Liz Blood. The advisory committee includes representatives from relevant departments of Leicestershire County Council, the diocesan archaeologist and a committee member of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. The co-ordinator for Project Gargoyle is Bob Trubshaw.

Change in Contact Details

Bob Trubshaw is now at:
113 High Street, Avebury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1RF. Phone 01672 539077.

How to get Involved

If you have access to a digital SLR camera (minimum 12 megapixels) with telephoto lens (equivalent to at least 400 mm focal length on full-frame 35 mm) and a tripod and are willing to photograph and survey medieval carvings according to the scheme established by the pilot project then please contact Liz Blood on 0116 305 6187 or by email liz.blood@leics.gov.uk
If you do not have photographic equipment but would like to get involved in the cataloguing and comparison phase (probably starting in 2014) then also contact Liz Blood.

Further Information

If you act as Heritage or Archaeological Warden for your parish please download and read:
If you plan to photograph and record carvings for Project Gargoyle please download and read:
The copyright assignment and consent form in the photography guide can also be downloaded separately

Preparation for Phase Three

Two documents can be downloaded which provide some background for Phase Three.  These are:
What can a gargoyle tell us?
Mawming and Mooning: Towards an understanding of medieval carvings and their carvers
Further information about Phase Three will follow towards the end of 2014, after the completion of a ‘pilot’ phase.

Beyond Project Gargoyle

Once Project Gargoyle has reached phase three then it is planned to set up a follow-on project to record all furnishings and fittings in the county's churches, such as effigies, wall monuments, stained glass windows, liturgical vessels, altar cloths, Mother's Union banners and much else.

More Information

Bob Trubshaw has previously written an illustrated book called Good Gargoyle Guide – Medieval carvings of Leicestershire and Rutland to encourage people who would not normally take an interest in church architecture to get out and about hunting further examples of these extraordinary sculptures.
Also see:

Photo Credits

Thanks to David Morley for the two Gargoyle photos on this page from Frisby on the Wreake.

Page Last Updated: 11 June 2010