The Buckland Sheela Na Gig
Images of lust report this sheela as being "much rubbed?". I find myself agreeing with the question mark. Unlike the Buncton Sheela this carving could have been moved to it's current position, around 10 ft of the ground, from a more accessible poistion. You can see from the photograph that the stone is unlike any of the other surrounding flint nodules and much weathered. The vaginal area on the carving is a wide deep oval, fingers are lightly incised on either side stretching a fair way into the vulva. The fingers do not appear shortened or "rubbed out" in any way in fact they are rather long and stand out from the rest of the carving. If the carving has suffered from rubbing it would have happened in two ways.
1. The finger could have been rubbed up and down this would result in a deeper line within the vulva which is not present.
2. The finger could have been rubbed in a circular motion around the vulva. If this type of rubbing took place then you would expect the vaginal area to grow wider which indeed it is, however the fingers would have gradually been "rubbed out" which they most certainly are not.
From what I've seen of the carving it appears that the image was carved this way deliberately. It's pretty hard to deny that the large vagina immediately grabs your attention.
The carving is quite badly weathered the face is deeply cracked and the rest of the carving is badly pitted. It could do with being moved inside the church to protect it from elements. A booklet describing the history of the church can be found inside but makes no mention of the Sheela at all.Comments in the vistor book show that, at least a few people have visited the church because of the Sheela and it seems a shame that it is likely to gradually weather away to nothing through neglect. If you do visit the church please make a comment in the book that you'd like to see it conserved in some way.Unlike other carvings on the church the Sheela is fairly crude her friendly grin providing a contrast to the other victorian gargoyles whichcan be found on the tower and on the back of the church.
The parish of Buckland lies around 15 miles north of High Wycombe. It is very small village the houses of which crowd around the large parish church of All Saints. Buckland is very near the Lower Icknield Way one of the main roads of Celtic Britain. The history of the church stretches as far back as 1067 where it is mentioned in the Domesday Book.
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