Why there’s an Alien gargoyle on the facade of medieval Paisley Abbey

It’s a city steeped in history – but here’s a curious landmark you may not know about over in Paisley.

The Gothic spires of Paisley Abbey date back to the 12th century – but there’s one gargoyle that stands out as something of an interloper.

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The original gargoyles stood guard over the church for centuries, but by 1991, when a remodelling took place, many of the 12 medieval creatures had crumbled.

fact, all of them except one had to be destroyed, thanks to water damage.

When an Edinburgh stonemasons firm was drafted in to replace the historic gargoyles, they left a cultural nod that is bound to make any film fan’s day – if you can spot it.


High above the arched doorways and stained glass sits Paisley’s very own Alien – an ode to the 1979 cult sci-fi film (and the sequels and prequels which followed) – emerging from the stonework.

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