Two carved gargoyles will be on display for the next few days before they are hoisted atop the tower of St. Mary’s Church.
The two new stone gargoyles, representing an owl and a bat, were dedicated with a blessing by Canon Christopher Hall during last Sunday’s morning service last weekend. Both pieces were carved out of solid pieces of Syreford stone by London sculptor Simon Smith. The last gargoyle that Simon carved was for Westminster Abbey with each sculpture taking around six weeks to carve. The carvings will replace two, 700-year-old church tower gargoyles which were mounted when the tower was built in around 1315 AD when Edward ll was King of England. The originals are now indoors, positioned on either side of the font at the back of the church. The tower restoration project has been largely funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Adderbury’s church tower is listed on English Heritage’s ‘At Risk Register’, so the restoration work will preserve it for future generations to enjoy. The work on the tower is nearing its end and the scaffolding is due to come down in stages. It is hoped that all of the scaffolding will be gone by the end of March. The new gargoyles are on display in the church now allowing people to look at them before they are installed high up the tower.