|This little known sheela na gig
resides on the tower of the Parish church of Twywell near Kettering. You
can see it as you walk through the main gate of the churchyard to the
left of the clock on the main tower. This sheela has not been published
in any of the major books on Sheelas and came to light on the CRSBI
The sheela is of the acrobatic variety with legs held to the head, with the feet facing forward in an almost impossible position. The torso of the carving is made up entirely of the vulva with the legs directly emanating from it. Unusually the figure has a small but deeply drilled anus as well. Conversely we could say that the torso has been slit, but the presence of the anus would seem to suggest that the torso slit is meant to represent the vulva. Again we have an overly large head in comparison to the body.
A few corbels over to the right from the sheela we have an example of a Romanesque mouth puller.
Is interesting that this sheela has escaped notice for such a long time especially when the church has received the attentions of Professor Zarnecki.
|The sheela carving in its position on the tower next to the clock on the North face of the tower.|
|The South door of the church with Kings Head|
|Close up of the kings head. Prof. George Zarnecki makes a comparison between this head and the head on the Priors Door at Ely Cathedral 45 miles to the East.|
|The mouth puller on the same side of the tower as the sheela.|
|The Romanesque sculpture at Twywell on www.crsbi.ac.uk|
1. Corpus of Romanesque sculpture in British and
2. G. Zarnecki, The Early Sculpture of Ely Cathedral. London 1958, 22, 45, pl.18. from CRSBI Site above
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