On my recent visit to Armagh, I spied a wonderful little gargoyle hidden in a boot-scrapper outside a bank. I stopped to take a look, but as no one else seemed to notice it I moved on quickly to avoid any questioning stares. As I turned the corner I did a double take when I spied an angel playing a Loughnashade trumpet perched above a doorway. I was intrigued and headed to the tourist office to find out more. There I was told that 22 bronze angels and gargoyles had been placed around buildings in Armagh City as part of the council’s urban regeneration programme.
The character and design of each bronze statue reflects the setting and history of the location. The figures are small, at 4-16 ” tall, they are designed to be almost hidden amongst the architecture, only to be discovered by keen eyes. The little sculptures are beautifully crafted and contain lovely details such as the Irish punt held by the gargoyle outside the bank.
The sculptor, Holger Christian Lönze focusses on people’s interaction with their cultural and natural environments. His collection of angels and gargoyles act as a kind of sculptural treasure hunt, that enable visitors to interact with their location and engage with architecture and history of the city. You can download a leaflet that shows you the address of each sculpture but that takes away the challenge of discovery. I would suggest using the map below to locate the statues and using the leaflet and website to find out more about the actual sculptures.
I highly recommend going to Armagh to take a look for these great sculptures. They are a great addition to a city already brimming with some beautiful architecture. Challenge yourself and see how long it takes to locate all 22, but no looking at the addresses as that would be cheating!
For more information on the sculptures and their locations visit the Gargoyles and Angels website