'Fethard Abbey' : Sheela-na-Gig

TownlandFethard
CountyTipperary
Grid RefS 211 350
GPSS 21113 34969 (12m)
Longitude7° 41' 21.53" W
Latitude52° 27' 57.05" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownClonmel (12.6 Km)
OS Sheet67
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 15th February 2004

This is not an easy one to spot, well, it is if you look in the right place, but, if like me, you expect it to be 20 feet up the wall you'll probably never see it! I was gazing around when the vicar walked out of his house. After greeting him I asked where the Sheela-na-Gig was. He pointed over my shoulder and said, "There". Embarassment ...

The Abbey ruins are at the east end of Fethard. At the east end of the church is a modern house. The Sheela is mounted 4 foot from the ground in the middle of a patch of ivy.

She is a tall and skinny one. Her ribs are quite clearly carved and the left hand rests on her belly. There is scaring marked on her cheeks and forehead. There doesn't seem to be a vulva, but this may have been chiselled away. The right arm does disappear behind her back and it is probably safe to assume once indicated the vulva.

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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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