Skregg : Sheela-na-Gig

Grid RefM 931 559
GPSM 93050 55865 (8m)
Longitude8° 6' 17.54" W
Latitude53° 33' 9.56" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownRoscommon (10.1 Km)
OS Sheet40
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 29th August 2004

Once again nobody was in the new farmhouse, so I wandered over the the carriage house where the two Sheela-na-Gigs are set into an end wall. It appears that the originals have been taken down and duplicates put up in their place.

One is very small and almost like a leaping baby doing the splits. Both hand come over the belly to indicate between the legs, but there does not appear to be a vulva.

The second is extremely nice (well the copy is) and carved in false relief on what appears to have been a keystone from an arch. She is standing with her feet turned outwards and her knees apart. The hands pass in front of the belly to indicate the notchlike vulva. She has ribs on both sides and breasts below her armpits. The head is really weird! It is like a rugby ball with huge lug ears.

If these are copies then whoever did them did a very, very good job. If they have simply been cleaned then she's scrubbed up well!

Footnote 30/08/04: After sitting for a long time comparing these with older images it does look as though these are the originals that have been cleaned. There is a small vulva on the little figure. I have also noted that the larger figure does not fit into the keystone properly. It is not symmetrical, nor is the one side of the edge complete. I do not think that this was originally carved to be a keystone, but was re-used from a different location.

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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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