A column-swallower (in French: "avaleur de colonne") or simply swallower (in French: "engouleur", "engoulent" or "grande goule") is known for absorbing a column and sometimes other thing, or animal or person, with its mouth gaping. In France, this column-swallower theme is often found in Romanesque churches in the Saintonge, region of Charente.
This is usually a grotesque head on a capital with a large open mouth where the top of the column ends.
It is also supposed to represent the mouth of Leviathan in the "harrowing of Hells", and for some the symbol of gluttony.
There are also many sculptures in churches depicting some kind of beast or monster swallowing another, or even people, on wood or on stained glass.