Kilkea Castle (Kildare)

This amazing and beautifully-carved group can be seen high on the front of a castle which has been converted to an expensive modern hotel!

Dated (by the shoes) to the 15th century, this has been interpreted as the Temptation of St Anthony - a theme of the Irish Scripture Crosses. The saint, with mask-like head and bared teeth, is about to be penetrated by a boar-headed beast wearing a quilted jacket, while another ithyphallic beast attacks his buttocks. At the same time, a bird resembling a peacock is attacking his left nipple, rather as hellish beasts attack the female figures of Romanesque Luxuria carvings.