Project Gargoyle is part of Leicestershire’s Heritage Warden Scheme, with wardens and volunteers systematically surveying and recording the medieval art work of all the churches in Leicestershire and Rutland.
There are estimated to be around 10,000 figurative carvings on the 300 churches across the county. The project, which began in earnest in 2010, aims to discover the exact number of those carvings and to build a database of information on them which can be used for further study.
The project is supported by an advisory committee which includes the diocesan archaeologist as well as heritage representatives from Leicestershire County Council and Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. The photographs and associated information collected will form part of the county’s Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record.
Though more than a third of the estimated number of carvings have already been recorded, the project still welcomes volunteers. Interested photographers must own a digital SLR camera with a telephoto lens and tripod and be willing to follow the procedures set out in project guidelines. There is also an annual training day they can attend. Volunteers without camera equipment can get involved with cataloguing the photographers’ findings.
Details of the project, along with guidelines for the procedures which must be followed in recording carvings, can be found on the project’s website.