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Blackhall Sheela-na-Gig
 

County

Kildare

Coordinates

N 53° 03' 49.8"   W 006° 48' 37.5"

Nearest town

Kilcullen

Grid Ref.

N 79800 02097

Map No.

55

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

121

Date of visit

Monday 10 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The exposed ruins of the castle.


Finding the way to access this castle and its sheela-na-gig took us some time. The narrow dirt road that leads to the castle is very well concealed under a row of trees and with an iron gate. It might seem the driveway to a private house.
This road runs east for 600 metres up to a group of 3 houses, the castle is among them. A lady came out from one of the houses and granted us the permission to visit the ruins.
The castle is in ruinous conditions, with its three storeys exposed. On the first floor there are traces of a small four-shelf in wall cupboard.
The three floors of the castle are reached through a doorway on the southeast (108°) side of the castle and a staircase with 48 steps.
I climbed up to the roof level, where I unintentionally scared two young crows that flew away. I hope they were ready and able to fly already.
The sheela-na-gig is at the ground level at 90 centimetres from the ground, next to the main doorway and faces south-southwest (198°).
The slab with the figure measures 68 x 35 centimetres and is 8 centimetres thick. The figure is 49 centimetres high and 27 centimetres wide at the feet. She in a standing position with her leg spread apart and her feet pointing outwards. Her left foot is less clear and it merges with the raised moulding around the edges of the slab. She has a round head, with big horizontal eyes, a visible nose and a tiny mouth. She has wide shoulders. Her ribs are well visible, her breast is small. Her arms and hands reach for her large vulva from behind the legs.


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