These “Grotesque” faces can be found in the Churches of Eastleach, St. Michael & St. Martin also known as Bourthrop Church & St Andrew’s Church.
Click on any image to see it all its glory……..
A grotesque is a carved figure, usually of a mytholigical creature, demon, or strange beast, used as an ornamental feature in church decoration. The term is sometimes confused with gargoyle, which is a special type of carved beast used to decorate a drainpipe. Grotesques can be found almost anywhere inside or outside a church, but are often used to decorate a frieze just under the eaves or as projecting carvings on a tower. Grotesques might depict human figures or faces, demons, animals, or other mythical creatures, often with exaggerated fierce of humourous expressions. Some are obviously meant to lampoon real local characters or represent church patrons.
A gargoyle is a carved figure used to oranament a drainpipe or spout carrying water away from a church roof or tower. The term is sometimes used to refer to any carved mythical beast on a church, but technically a gargoyle was a specific kind of carved figure used on drainspouts. To be pedantic, a figure used for purely ornamental purposes is a grotesque rather than a gargoyle. Gargoyles often depict mythological beasts, frequently with terrifying or humourous expressions.
Photographs kindly donated by Anne Leeming, 44 Eastleach ( The Clock Tower Cottage ).