Hunky Punk

hunky punk

By definition, a hunky punk is an architectural feature that serves no purpose. Therefore, a true gargoyle is not a hunkypunk because it serves to drain water through its mouth. Hunky punks were often carved to create a balance of decoration. A typical example might be found at the corner of a church tower, along the coping ridge below any castellations. Often there are carvings on each corner, yet the roof may only drain in one direction and so there might be three hunkypunks and one true gargoyle.

There is a belief that a hunky punk is only a short squatting figure typical of those found in the churches of western England. The origin of the term hunkypunk has been ascribed to the Old English ‘hunkers’ which means haunches and ‘punchy’ which means short-legged. The balance of good and evil in church design reminds worshippers of the narrow path they tread. For every good and benign creature such as a saint or an animal to signify purity, there is typically an opposite to bring out the fear of evil.

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