Today I took a walking tour of the central part of the city and I learned the difference between a "Grotesques" and a "Gargoyles". I always thought that any grotesque figure ornamenting a building was a Gargoyle but the guide said "not so". Only ornaments that function to channel water away from a building are technically gargoyles and all other grotesque figures are just "grotesques"! The buildings of Oxford have no shortage of either variety here's a small sampling!
Some of the Grotesques don't really seam very Grotesque, like this lovely lady.
This cute fellow with the book adorns a window outside Balliol College Library.
This stern Sister is just keeping an eye on things!
And this fellow is just popping out for a bit of Ale?!
Merton College was Tolkein's college and the exterior is heavily decorated with gargoyles and grotesques. You can see some of where he took his inspiration from?!
It's a good thing I have a digital camera, I couldn't stop taking pictures of these wonderful sculptures!