Fethard Wall
At a Glance
County Tipperary
OS Map 67
OS Coordinate S 209 349
Archaeological Inventory
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Fethard Wall, Co. Tipperary

Location: On the far southwest of the town of Fethard R 692 (west, from Cashel), R 689 (north from Clonmel) and R 706 intersect. Take R 706 south and parallel to the River Clawshawley. This follows the ancient town walls on the opposite side of the river. There is parking here for the lovely pedestrian park that utilizes the town walls as a backdrop. If the weather is nice, this is a pleasant walk west along the wall. The wall ends just before a rather derelict collection of outbuildings and just before Watergate Street. Cross Watergate Street. The sheela is on the stone gable wall of an old church, of which very little survives, facing you on the opposite side of Watergate Street.. The sheela is mounted about 3 meters up and about 2.5 meters from the right side as you face the gable. If the weather is foul, drive the same route but pass the pedestrian bridge and make the first left turn. Cross the old bridge and immediately to your right is the church gable on which the sheela is mounted, facing the road.

Dimensions: The Fethard Wall sheela is approximately 50 cm high and 20 cm wide.

Features: While this sheela blends in exceptionally well with the surrounding stone and appears to be extremely weathered, close inspection reveals quite a bit of detail. This sheela appears rather top heavy, as her head is almost an equal size to her body. She has well-carved staring eyes, only a hint of a nose and a grimacing mouth that bares teeth. The familiar striations are found on her left cheek. There are also curious striations along her neck and on a cracked part of the stone at her right temple. whether these are cult marks, indications of hair, is not clear. She has well defined ribs and a sturdy torso. Her spindly arms reach around the back of her widely splayed thighs to grasp her vulva, legs to either side of her body - her left leg running up the side of her body toward her shoulder and the right leg out to her right side. Feet are not evident.

Comments: We had a bit of trouble finding this sheela, as we were looking on the town walls, until we asked a couple of young local fellows who were able to direct us to it easily. Thanks, lads.

Other Items of Interest: Behind the nearby Augustinian Friary sits another sheela on an annex wall.

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