Doon Castle : Sheela-na-Gig

CountyOffaly
Grid RefN 119 317
Longitude7° 49' 16.85" W
Latitude53° 20' 7.52" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownMoate (9.6 Km)
OS Sheet47
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 12th October 2003

I've only been to a hand full of Sheelas, but this is my favourite so far. She is built into the tower of the castle on the east wall to the left of the doorway.

She appears to have been carved as if standing, but is set into the wall horizontally. Her feet both point in the same direction (to her right) and she has markings on her stomach representing ribs, which make her look haggered. This is in stark contrast to her large head, which looks quite healthy.

Quite unusually her characteristic open vulva is set in the middle of her chest and her hands pass behind her thighs and instead of indicating her vulva (because it's not there!) grasp hold of the opposite leg.

This is a wonderful carving and well worth visiting if you're in the area. It's another location where I knew I was in the right place due to the 'Beware of the Bull' signs n the gates just below the castle.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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A Selection of Other Sheela-na-Gigs

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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