In terms of the design of gothic buildings, specifically French Gothic, at what height were Gargoyles typically installed / deemed necessary? Or were they installed in most stone buildings regardless of height? I know Gargoyles are made longer depending on how far away water needed to be redirected and I assume that is tied to the height of the wall but I'm wondering at what height designers would elect to install them.

1 Answer 1


The first known medieval gargoyles, on Layon Cathedral, appear to start as early as the top of the first story.

They have a functional purpose roughly akin to modern rain gutters, and it appears that like modern guttering they first appear where the first roof is encountered, however high up that may be.

Here's a picture of Layon with the lower gargoyles (helpfully?) circled.

Layon with gargoules circled

  • The one on the left, btw, is a shockingly accurate (for the 1200s) representation of a hippo.
    – T.E.D.
    Dec 14, 2021 at 14:34

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