The Copgrove Sheela Na Gig

Unfortunately the Copgrove figure is now badly worn and almost impossible to photograph. It's very hard to make out the outlines of the figure even with the naked eye.  Known locally as the "Devil Stone" the figure has been regarded as being of Romano British origin. It consists of a stick like figure with a large head holding a a circle in one hand  next to the figure is a T shape which has been interpreted as both an axe or a tau cross. This may have been a later addition. Between the legs of the figure there is a slit which could be vaginal but equally could be phallic given the style and primitive nature of the carving. The figure has been moved a few times. According to Anderssen the figure was originally located on North Chancel wall but was moved to the North east corner. Recently it has been moved again, this time to the inside of the church to prevent further weathering. Taking into account the primitive nature of the carving this could be one of the oldest sheelas in Britain. However it may be misleading to go solely by the style as it may equally be the doodling of a medieval mason.

The Copgrove Sheela Courtesy of C.B. Newham of  www.digiatlas.org
Copyright C.B. Newham
The Copgrove figure



The sheela in it's previous location. Photograph by Anthony Weir

Previous location of the figure

 

 

The sheela in its present location


 

Copgrove Church


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