Monday, March 7, 2011

Brick Backgrounds: The Gargoyles of Hampton Court Palace

Last week in a Pens Fatales blog post I posted a photo of one of the walls in my office (below). I was talking about music at the time, so the point of the photo was to show the guitar I've got hanging up on the wall -- but it got me thinking about how much I love my brick wall. That brick wall inspires my creativity much more than the drab cream-colored walls that form the rest of my office.

I love classic detective fiction from the early 1900s in part because of the evocative imagery that goes along with so much of that pulp fiction -- e.g. shadowy figures in the dim lamplight of seedy alleyways set against brick walls.

One of the coolest brick buildings that has a lot gargoyles hiding among the brickwork is Hampton Court Palace, right outside of London. Most of my favorite castles are those that are in ruins, but Hampton Court Palace has enough mystery as it is. It even has a life-size maze.

Below are a some of the more interesting creatures that inhabit the brick walls of the palace.

-- Gigi


  1. Have you ever been to the castle in Heidelberg, Germany? There are the most amazing faces on the courtyard wall -- but you have to walk INTO the courtyard and turn around before you see them. I don't suppose they're true gargoyles -- no water gurgling through them. Still, they're eerily realistic.

  2. I haven't explored Germany nearly as much as I'd like to yet, so I haven't been to that castle. Hopefully someday!