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Ballinderry Sheela-na-Gig
 

County

Galway

Coordinates

N 53° 27' 48.1"   W 008° 50' 07.1"

Nearest town

Tuam

Grid Ref.

M 44572 46226

Map No.

46

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

32

Date of visit

Wednesday 9 June 2010

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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The tower house is inhabited and the owner was in.


The tower house where this sheela-na-gig is on is a private dwelling and when we visited the place the owner was in, but we didn't want to knock the door because we thought he could deny the permission to take photos.
The sheela-na-gig is right above the door, on the east (95°) wall of the castle, at 2.30 metres from the ground and it's the keystone of the archway.
Though it has a male aspect, the figure is clearly a woman. From the top of her head two plaits, with two different styles, depart horizontally. Below them there are a marigold and a triskell on one side and two rosettes and a small bird on the other side.
Her navel is well visible and her legs are kept apart, her arms pass in front of her body and keep her vulva open while something that may look like a menstrual flow runs from it.
The stone of this sheela-na-gig is clearly of a different type from the other stones of the archway and it seems it's been reduced in width to fit in its place, in fact part of the triskell is missing, and this makes me think that this slab comes from some other medieval building and was moved here during the building of the castle.


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