The sweathouses that survive today were mainly built from the 18th century onwards, they are a beehive shaped structure with a corbelled roof and most of them are covered in turf (peat). They had a small entrance, enough for one person to crawl inside, some may have held up to four or five people. They are generally thought of as Irish saunas or as a sweating cure, a fire was lit inside to heat them with a small smoke hole in the top. Then the fire was doused and cleaned out and the patients would crawl in. At some sites the patient would then jump into a small plunge pool.

Situated: From Maghera, County Derry take the road towards Killelagh Church, then take the first left, then next right the site is sign-posted on your left about 1 kilometre down this road, a track leads you down to a picnic area the sweathouse is down the hill just passed here.

Discoverer Map 8: C 8258 0246. Last visit Jul 06.

Longitude: 6° 42' 49" W

Latitude: 54° 51' 47" N

Google Map.

Photo: Jim Dempsey.

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