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Clenagh Castle Sheela-na-Gig
 

County

Clare

Coordinates

N 52° 43' 59.64"   W 008° 56' 21.54"

Nearest town

Newmarket-on-Fergus

Grid Ref.

R 36562 65097

Map No.

58

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

11

Date of visit

Sunday 21 June 2015

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The castle seen from the gate of the yard at the southeast.


This tower house was built by the MacMahons and stands near the River Fergus. It was occupied until the beginning of the 17th century. The castle stands on a private property partly enclosed by a high wall. The courtyard of the castle within the boundary wall is used as a deposit for farm machinery and hay bales. Unfortunately the interior of the castle are used as a storage for old tools and materials. The castle is six storeys high, all floors but the first one are missing. There are several windows, some are large and mullioned, others are narrow and rounded, but all are very nice. On the southeast (160°) wall there's a good rounded doorway. On the same side at about 100 centimetres from the ground, there's a curious carved figure classified as a sheela-na-gig.
The figure itself is about 45 centimetres high. It depicts a thin human being, it's not clear whether male or female, with an oval head carved out of a hollow. It seems that a smiling mouth and two tiny eyes can be made out. The arms reach the genitalia from the front. The legs are kept wide apart with the knees bent at a square angle. Nothing scaring about this figure, unlike other sheela-na-gigs so far seen.


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