Books on
Gargoyles and Grotesques

in association with

Books on The Green Man

Books on the Celts

Celtic Zodiac and Astrology

Celtic Knotwork Books

Holy Terrors:
Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings

Janetta Rebold Benton

The first book for adults to provide an intelligent and entertaining overview of medieval gargoyles from Europe and Great Britain. 140 pages; 108 color photographs.

A charming survey of these mischievous creatures, illustrated with engaging color photographs from the rooftops of Europe and Great Britain. Multitudes of gargoyles haunt the medieval buildings of western Europe, peering down from churches and cathedrals, houses and town halls. Holy Terrors offers a fresh and irresistible history of these wildly varied characters-a society of stone creatures perched high above the workaday world. The true gargoyle is a waterspout, an architectural necessity that medieval artisans transformed into functional fantasies. The informative introduction to Holy Terrors explains everything that is known or conjectured about the history, the construction, the purposes, and the mysterious meanings of these often rude and rowdy characters. The three chapters that follow are devoted to the gargoyles themselves, imaginatively carved of stone in the form of people, real animals, and fantastic beasts. In clear, lively language, Janetta Rebold Benton puts these personality-filled sculptures into the context of medieval life and art and captures their quirky diversity in her engaging color photographs. Concluding the book is an invaluable guide to gargoyle sites throughout western Europe, as well as suggestions for further reading. This is the first book for adults to provide an intelligent and entertaining overview of medieval gargoyles, and it is bound to increase the already abundant legions of gargoyle admirers.

The Medieval Menagerie: Animals in the Art of the Middle Ages

Janetta Rebold Benton


Gothic Gargoyles

Bill Yenne

With over 200 color illustrations from throughout Europe is a necessary addition to any gargoyle enthusiast's library. 192 pages.

England's Earliest Sculptors

Richard N. Bailey

A study of English sculpture from the 7th to 11th centuries.

Also by the same author - Ambiguous Birds and Beasts (Friends of the Whithorn Trust, 1996), which discusses three early Christian sculptures from south-east Scotland.

Images of Lust:
Sexual Carvings on Medieval Churches

Anthony Weir & James Jerman

From the famous sheela-na-gigs, through all forms of exhibitionists-mermaids, centaurs, misers and priapic figures-extraordinary sculptures considered "obscene" by today's standards may be found on churches in Britain, Ireland, France and Spain. This book examines their origins and purposes and sees them not as sacrilegious figures, or symbols, nor even as idols of ancient pre- Christian religions, but as serious works that dealt with the sexual customs and salvation of medieval folk, and thus gave support to the church's moral teachings.

"In the Romanesque churches of England, France, and Spain, an unexpected treat lies in store for the unsuspecting visitor - a wealth of sexually explicit carvings on the churches' corbels. But what do these priapic male and female exhibitionists, these acrobats and athletes, mermaids and centuars, coupling figures, mouth pullers and tongue protruders actually denote for the church-goer at worship beneath them?
In this fascinating and highly illustrated book, Anthony Weir and James Jerman enter the intriguing world of the medieval church, where hell and damnation lay in store for those who did not stay on the straight and narrow. The authors argue that frightening the congregation into good conduct was exactly the aim of these carvings - presenting a vision of doom that no sinner would wish to encounter. Drawing on folkloric traditions, church history and medieval cultural history,
Images of Lust is an intriguing and informative look at one of the byways of the past."

A Little Book of Gargoyles

Mike Harding


Gargoyles that grin and leer down from roofs and towers of medieval churches have stood for centuries warding off evil. They reached their flowering in the Middle Ages yet their story goes far beyond that time to the very beginnings of art, when man created demons to scare away demons. This book depicts the many fearsome faces of these monstrosities throughout history.

Oxford's Gargoyles and Grotesques: A guided tour

John Blackwood

A wonderful introduction to the Gargoyles of Oxford's many College buildings - our own copy has proved invaluable in the creation of our range of grotesques.

Also by John Blackwood: Windsor Castle's Gargoyles and Grotesques (Charon Press 1988)

The Witch on the Wall: medieval erotic sculpture in the British Isles

Jorgen Andersen

Allen and Unwin 1977

History and Imagery in British Churches

M.D. Anderson

By the author of Animal Carvings in British Churches (Cambridge University Press, 1938), and The Choir Stalls of Lincoln Minster (Friends of Lincoln Cathedral, 1967).

Medieval Realms

Ian Dawson

The author is an authority on medieval pagan carvings in English churches.

The World Upside Down:
English Misericords

Christa Groesinger


Medieval Popular Culture: Problems of Belief and Perception

Aron Gurevich


"Gurevich' work is a valuable addition to the collection of anyone interested in popular belief in medieaval europe. This work is especially valuable from the standpoint of the literature of dissenting groups and heresies. The chapter on conceptions of the underworld before Dante's elucidation is both entertaining and enlightening."

Robert L. Welch, Baltimore, Md

The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles

Ronald Hutton



This is the first survey of religious beliefs in the British Isles from the Stone Age to the coming of Christianity. Hutton draws upon a wealth of new data to reveal some important rethinking about Christianization and the decline of paganism.


Also by Ronald Hutton: The Stations of the Sun

Canterbury Cathedral and its Romanesque Sculpture

Deborah Kahn

Also by D. Kahn: The Romanesque Frieze and its Spectator

Marginal Sculpture in Medieval France

Nurith Kenaan-Kedar

" Describes and analyzes the often grotesque figures high on the corbels or tucked under the eaves of churches and civic buildings. In trying to make sense of individual sculptures and the genre as a whole, Kenaan-Kedar (medieval art, Tel-Aviv U.) demonstrates a repertory of interest and importance, identifies themes and meanings, and traces their development through an alternative culture of artist and artisans. She focuses on Romanesque and Gothic monuments, illustrating over 120 figures in black and white, and listing more than 730 she found altogether on the 13 buildings." Book News, Inc

Stories in Stone:
the Medieval Roof Carvings of Norwich Cathedral

Martial Rose & Julia Hedgecoe


The magnificent roof bosses of Norwich Cathedral are one of the great hidden glories of medieval art. There are more than one thousand of these delightfully carved and painted keystones in the high stone vaulting, dating from 1300 to 1515 and measuring between twelve and thirty inches wide. The vast majority are figure carvings uniquely linked together in storytelling patterns, reflecting a variety of pagan, Christian, and folk subjects. In quantity and quality, Norwich's bosses are among the most impressive in Europe, while their narrative arrangement makes them unparalleled in the medieval world. Situated some eighty feet up from the floor of the cathedral, these ornaments are too distant to have been fully appreciated by worshipers over the centuries; by the same token, their inaccessibility has protected them from vandalism. Until recently their character and detail have been discernible to only a dedicated few through telescopes and binoculars, but modern technology has now made it possible to photograph the images and make them visible to the general public. This book reproduces the most striking and interesting examples, selected from the hundreds of exquisite color photographs taken by the distinguished photographer Julia Hedgecoe, under the auspices of the cathedral, from 1990 to 1995. They are introduced and fully described in a lively text by one of Norwich's foremost medieval historians, Martial Rose. 74 illus. 70 in color.

Grotesques and Gargoyles: Paganism in the Medieval Church

Ronald Sheridan & Anne Ross


Architecture, Sculpture, Painting

Rolf Toman

Also by Rolf Toman: Gothic: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting

Gothic Sculpture

Paul Williamson


This beautiful and authoritative book is the first to examine the development of Gothic sculpture throughout Europe. It discusses not only the most famous monuments-such as the cathedrals of Chartres, Amiens, and Reims, Westminster Abbey, and the Siena Duomo-but also less familiar buildings in France, England, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Scandinavia. Numerous illustrations-including photographs taken specially for the book-accompany the text.

Hunky Punks:
a Study in Somerset Stone Carving

Peter Poyntz Wright


A Little Book of Misericords
(Little Books Of...Series)

Mike Harding

Scenes from the Bible, daily life, and narratives of folklore and fable decorate misericords in the choirs of many of the abbeys and cathedrals of Europe in a secret upside-down world where the everyday meets the miraculous and the sacred rubs cheeks with the profane.

American Gargoyles:
Spirits in Stone

Darlene Trew Crist, Robert Llewellyn (Photographer)


Editorial Reviews
Book Description American Gargoyles: Spirits in Stone is the first pictorial essay on the many gargoyles found in the United States, featuring unique stories and breathtaking full-color photographs of these monstrous but delightful angels with a sense of humor. A number of books have showcased the medieval gargoyles of Europe, but never before has one been devoted to the thousands of gargoyles that peer down from American buildings. Lewd or ferocious, holy or humorous, these astonishing carvings are distinguished by fine artistry, vivid imagination, and spiritual mystery. American Gargoyles puts us face-to-face with the winged griffins, fallen angels, and damned souls of Washington's National Cathedral, as well as those adorning the Woolworth Building and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, Tribune Tower in Chicago, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and many other buildings. Robert Llewellyn's glorious photographs reveal the craftsmanship of the artisans and sculptors who created these works. With Darlene Trew Crist's fascinating explanations of the varieties of gargoyles, stories about their history and creation, and extensive resource information, including websites, American Gargoyles makes a convincing case for looking up as we walk down the streets of America's cities. About the Author Darlene Trew Crist is an award-winning writer who has traveled throughout Europe and the United States in search of gargoyles. She lives in Rhode Island. Robert Llewellyn is a photographer whose books include Washington: The Capital, which was chosen by the White House and the State Department as an official diplomatic gift. He lives in Virginia.


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