Gloucester Cathedral has unveiled the maquette of ‘Glaaaawster’, the first of a set of six new gargoyles which will be installed on the North Ambulatory Roof as part of a £530,000 restoration project.
The Gloucester Gargoyle is sponsored by Gloucester based company, Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG).
Each gargoyle represents a different region of the County, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean by reflecting local traditions and heritage, and when it came to Gloucester, there was only one choice!
The Gloucester Gargoyle is a rugby player tightly holding a rugby ball while kneeling on the ground.
The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester said: “Since 1891, Gloucester Rugby Club has played its home matches at Kingsholm Stadium. The matches attract large numbers of loyal followers filling the city with enthusiastic fans, and with the other ‘hallowed ground’ just a stone’s throw away from the Cathedral, it seemed only fitting that ‘Glaaaawster’ should pay tribute to this much-loved sport.”
The maquette (clay model) has been sculpted by the Cathedral’s Master Mason, Pascal and over the next six months will be carved into stone before proudly taking his place overlooking Kingsholm and protecting the Cathedral’s stonework.
Chris Pitt, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Ecclesiastical said: “As the UK's leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings, we’re passionate about protecting Britain’s heritage. We’re delighted to support this exciting restoration project of one of our finest historic buildings. From an insurer’s perspective gargoyles have a practical purpose – keeping water flowing away from the building to protect it. So this is an investment in the future health and sustainability of Gloucester Cathedral which is well worth making. We’re also pleased that the city’s rugby heritage can be immortalised in stone. We’re a proud rugby city and hopefully this gargoyle will give the team an extra boost ahead of the new season!”
This is only the second time in living history that new gargoyles have been created for Gloucester Cathedral and once completed, they will be installed high above the north side of the Cathedral, enhancing one of the city’s most iconic skylines whilst ensuring the building remains watertight for generations to come. Built to last hundreds of years, they will serve as reminder of the support and generosity of the local community in helping to preserve this remarkable building.