The Mystery Of Why There’s An “Alien” Gargoyle On A 12th-Century Scottish Abbey May Have Been Solved

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Image: Colin

For years now, any sci-fi film buffs who have visited Paisley Abbey in Scotland may have been startled by an unnervingly familiar sight. There is something uncanny about a stone gargoyle on the structure’s lofty heights. One of the decorative carvings on the centuries-old building’s exterior bears a striking resemblance to an all-too-recognizable movie monster. The place of worship has become a place of pilgrimage and wonder for Ridley Scott fans. But now, the mystery of the Alien gargoyle looks to have been resolved once and for all.

Image: Thomas Nugent

Paisley in the Scottish county of Renfrewshire is seven miles away from Glasgow and is known as Scotland’s largest town. It has a population of more than 77,000 citizens, but nonetheless Paisley is still not officially classed as a city. Still, that did not stop the good people of the town from organizing a campaign to win the U.K. City of Culture title for 2021. While ultimately unsuccessful, the bid reflected the regeneration that Paisley is currently undergoing.

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Image: Thomas Nugent

Regardless of what happens in the future, Paisley looms large in the history of Scotland. During the industrial revolution, for instance, the town became a hotbed for weaving – and was the birthplace of the famed Paisley pattern design. Sadly, however, by the close of the 20th century, every single one of its mills had closed down. Going further back through history, the town was a significant religious center in the 12th century, thanks to the construction of Paisley Abbey which still stands proudly today.

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