Gargoyle majolica character jug produced by Thomas Forester & Sons of Longton, England, circa 1890. A gargoyle is a strange or ugly human or animal figure lurking on the roof of a building, often a church. It was used to both convey the image of evil as well as scare evil spirits away. Often gargoyles served as a functional part of the roof drainage system. Some photos courtesy of Brian Dobson.