In common parlance, they are referred to as gargoyles, although the strict architectural usage of that term refers to those features that also serve as a waterspout.
The word is derived from grotteschi, the Italian term for the Roman grottoes that contained such decorations. They were revived as an ornamental feature in the Renaissance and became popular throughout Europe, being used most frequently in the decoration of frescoes.
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IHBC’s first Research Note for 2018 has been posted on our online Toolbox, offering ‘Market Intelligence’ on England’s local authority (LA) conservation-related jobs.
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