Historic Building Recording of Magdalen Tower, Stony Stratford

Magdalen Tower gargoyle

AOC's historic buildings specialists were delighted to get up close and personal with the gargoyles of the Grade II* listed MagdalenTower in Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes.  AOC was commissioned by Nick Cox Architects to carry out a photographic record prior to works to repair the tower. Our team scaled the scaffolding surrounding the tower to get a rare, close-up view. The tower is all that remains of the church of St. Mary Magdalen, which was built at the end of the 13th century and destroyed in a fire that swept thought the lower part of the town in 1742.

The tower retains its late 13th century clasping buttresses and crenellated parapet (below), the later 15th century perpendicular windows and the four large corner gargoyles (right).

Magdalen TowerNot only did gargoyles serve as water spouts to direct rain water well away from the walls, they also sought to remind the medieval laity of the protective power of the church by displaying evil as mythical beasts and ferocious animals. It was also an opportunity for masons and builders to show off their skills, immortalise themselves by including their own features, or poke fun at local dignitaries.

Work at Magdalen Tower was supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.