Exploration: For those of a squeamish nature I would advise not to read, or at least go to the links, because I am about to tackle sheela-na-gigs those ugly grotesque depictions of sex and fertility.
Actually I had started with the font at Cowlam church in East Yorkshire, expansively decorated with depictions from the bible, it is considered to be clumsy in its carving, but nevertheless fascinating. Then noticed another church nearby North Grimston which had a male and female sheela-na-gigs.
Why are they so high up in church walls one may ask, what are they telling us? sex is ugly, one of the sins of humankind is the answer the old Norman churches seem to say as they trail their messages across their religious walls. But what if they told of fertility and fecundity, the spring awakening of bouncing lambs and emerging plant life. Two different interpretations, what sparked the interest though was this March 2021 article in the Guardian in Ireland. The depiction of sex is so different today of course, or is it? porn is a dominant aspect of the internet, okay the girls have to be slimmer and not have child bearing hips as their attractive features.
So what period of history do sheela-na-gigs come from, maybe guessing but from the Saxon period, a changeover period when the old pagan gods were morphing into the Christian God, fertility is after all a strong contender in keeping us alive. If you go back onto the site for these strange creatures, you will find them linked to Celtic mythology, the tale of the' old hag' and many theories beside - but there is not an actual factual answer!
What also struck me from these two churches and nearby churches, is that there must have been a school of carvers in this area a bit like the Kilpeck church in Herefordshire. And should you drive on you would come to Wharram Percy, the deserted medieval village set in the fields about a mile away from the road.
So......... on this grim wet day take a walk when it was sunny. I have often wondered how the people in this DMV moved around, there must have been another lane to other villages but only a map will tell. But now caught in a time trap in the middle of neat and tidy modern fields, this settlement recorded over the years by dedicated archaeologists with its ruined church and renovated empty farmhouse are all that is left, may it always remains so.
"It was a word salad with croutons of random verbiage."