The Darley Dale Sheela Na Gig
This sheela can be found three miles west of Haddon Hall in the village of Darley Dale. Follow the "Parish Church " signs on the main road. The church at Darley Dale is fascinating itself. The site has religious connections going back to Romano British time roman burials being found nearby. Part of the church is built on what is believed to be an ancient artificial mound. The church is a good example of a pagan holy area gradaually being taken over by Christianity. There are many old gravestones in churchyard and not a few empty stone coffins. One of the table tombs which is said to house the remains of a weaver is strangely decorated with a pentagram, Star of David and the tools of the weavers trade (See below). There is also an ancient yew purportedly being 2000 years old although there is some doubt about it true age. A few of the stones in the walls of the church bear some faded knotwork carvings which are thought to be Saxon in origin.
The church is usually locked but access can be gained by phoning the church warden or Rector who's telephone numbers can be found on the door of the church. The Sheela can be found inside a modern extension to the church which houses what was once one of the main doors into the church. It occupies a central postion high on the arch of the old main door. It is badly weathered but it is obviously in the same style of the Haddon Hall sheela with its legs high in the air and hands beneath the buttocks.
My thanks go to Mrs D.Church for taking the time to show me around the church at such short notice.