'Cloghan Castle' : Sheela-na-Gig

Grid RefM 844 508
GPSM 84375 50771 (15m)
Longitude8° 14' 7.88" W
Latitude53° 30' 24.11" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownRoscommon (13.6 Km)
OS Sheet40
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 29th August 2004

When I arrived at the farm there was no one in the main house so I went around to the farmyard to see if either of the ladies who owns the site was in the cow sheds, which they weren't. While looking for somebody I found myself at the castle ruins with the Sheela abive me so I took some photos.

She is carved on a quoin (corner) stone some 5m high on the southeast corner. She is very well carved and it is possible to make out that she is wearing a bonnet and poking here tongue out. Her legs are bowed and her feet point outwards - the left foot is damaged, but you can see the toes on the right one. There are what appear to be breasts, but the left one seems to sag to the side below her arm. She has ribs on her right flank. Both hands come in front of her belly to indicate the vulva. There may be two holes between her legs - the second being her anus. You can just make out the fingers on the left hand. Oddly, the head is disjointed from her body.

The stone it is carved on looks to be exactly the same sort of stone that the whole castle is built of indicating that it is contemporary with the castle.

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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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