What was the purpose of gargoyles?
What was the purpose of a flying buttress and what did they look like?
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Gargoyles served a similar purpose as rain gutters. The water from the roof would drain in to the gargoyle and spew out from it (usually through the mouth) and away from the building. This was important because rain water running down the side of the building would erode and eat away at the masonry.
A buttress used to reinforce a wall. Without buttresses the walls of a structure, especially a cathedral because of their design, could collapse from the weight of the ceiling and whatever the ceiling is supporting and the lateral forces that are created by this weight. Flying buttresses were used to transfer these lateral forces across spaces.
Flying buttresses consist of the buttress and a flyer, which is an arch that spans the gap between the buttress and the wall. Thus many flying buttresses look like archways or arches against a wall.|dw:1326820093265:dw|