New gargoyles at Peterborough church after old one fell through roof

Residents could get the chance to design new gargoyles for an historic church - as the ones currently in place are being removed after one fell through the roof.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 5:00 am
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 5:40 am
The work will last until the middle of next month

Scaffolding is under construction at the tower of St John’s Church in the city centre, with work going on to prevent gargoyles falling and injuring residents - or damaging the 15th century building.

Last year one of the gargoyles fell through the roof, causing thousands of pounds of damage.

Canon Ian Black said: “There were four gargoyle water spouts on the tower - although they are now stumps having worn and eroded.

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“After one fell in October we have closed off the west front, so people do not get hurt by falling stone.

“The old stumps are being removed to make the roof safe.

“In the future, we could decide to replace them.

“There are no drawings or designs of the gargoyles that were originally in place, so it would be the opportunity to design something new - it could be something that could really capture the imagination.”

The scaffolding is scheduled to be in place until the middle of February.

The emergency works have cost the church £11,000 - and while some funding has been received from a grant, they are still looking for about £6,000.

The roof damage was covered by insurance.

While it is in place, the church bells have been silenced - they were unable to ring in the New Year - to prevent more damage being caused.