Visitors to the historic Paisley Abbey in Glasgow might be forgiven for thinking the building was once home to a time travel. Among the traditional medieval architecture, a strange nod to the Alien horror franchise can be seen in one unusual gargoyle.
Although the abbey is centuries old, it underwent a major restoration in 1991. Sadly it was discovered that the original gargoyle figures were heavily damaged and could not be repaired. Only one original was able to be saved and restored to the building during the restoration. When an Edinburgh stonemasons firm was drafted in to replace the historic gargoyles, they left a cultural nod that is bound to make any film fan’s day! Above the arches is a modern replacement gargoyle inspired by the classic horror sci-fi movie Alien.
Stonemason David Lindsy was head of the team tasked with replacing Paisley Abbey’s gargoyles. Each one took around four weeks to carve and complete. “The gargoyles I had been tasked to supply would also be functional, designed to incorporate a channel that could carry water. In keeping with tradition, they would all be different, individually carved by a small team of artisans drawing their inspiration from 20th-century culture“, David explained.
The gargoyles were originally designed to direct water away from the building, in an era when pipes and plumbing did not exist. Mr Birss, the abbeys minister said “I think it was a stonemason having a bit of fun,”.
“Perhaps the film was fairly new when they were carving this and if he was thinking of an alien perhaps the alien from the film was his idea of an alien.”
The abbey is a popular tourist destination for visitors to Scotland, with some seeking out the special Alien tribute in the historic site. Paisley also has long standing folklore and myths regarding witchcraft and the supernatural, making it a spooky place to stop by!