Aughagower Sheela-na-gig
At a Glance
County Mayo
OS Map 31
OS Coordinate M 034 803
-- Holding a mouse over a thumbnail picture will "popup" information for many of the pictures
-- Clicking ON the thumbnail picture will load up a 1024x780 version of that picture
Ancient Ireland Home

Aughagower Sheela-na-gig, Co. Mayo

Location: In the center of the village of Aughagower, four miles southeast of Westport. From Westport, take R 330 southeast approximately three kilometers to a side road on the right. It should be signposted. If the first turn is missed, there is another signposted right turn about 2 kilometers further along R 330. The roads are very narrow, but considerably improved in recent years. The ruined church and round tower would be difficult to miss as they are the dominant features of the village. Behind the church, to the NNE, there are two holy wells, now dried up due to a drainage scheme. Along the front of the wall of the holy well across from the bar there is a very small sheela-na-gig embedded into the stonework. Because it is so tiny and due to the rough stone and arrangement of lichen growth, it is difficult to spot and harder still to photograph unless the light is just right.

Dimensions: Approximately 10 cm x 10 cm

Features: This sheela has a round bald head, no discernible ears and large rounded eyes with prominent eyelids. There is no facial scarring noted. She has a small mouth set in a straight line. The head sits on a short sturdy neck atop a stocky torso without ribs or any other scarring evident. There is a hint of two breasts mid-chest, or perhaps an indication of breastbone. Arms akimbo seem to rest on her hips rather than indicating her genitals, but the obvious slit between her legs leaves no doubt as to whether this is a genuine sheela. Her legs, widely splayed and knees bent, end in feet pointed in opposite directions.

Comments: This is a very saucy little sheela, looking for all the world like she has been caught mid-jig.

History: unknown at this time.

Other Items of Interest: Nearby are Tober na nDeachaun translated as 'well of the deacons' and Dabhach Phádraig, 'Patrick's bath'. It is the wall of 'Patrick's bath" where the sheela is found. Also in the nearby graveyard is the ruin of a medieval church and 10th or 11th century round tower.

  © 2005-2006 F.J. & K.D. Schorr - All rights reserved.