secret garden

By freespiral

No sweat

Sorry AWOL for a couple of days, the pressure of submitting a synopsis and book chapters meant I did not want spend any more time on the computer! Anyway,  O Brien's Books were the lucky recipients this morning. Two more publishers may be tackled tomorrow.

It's been a lovely sunny day to reward myself I went for a bit of an explore, armed with secateurs and gloves. No not a holy well but a possible sweathouse! I have visited this before but have yet to have it officially confirmed that it is a sweathouse.  County Leitrim are doing a project recording all their sweathouses and they have tons of them. There are only two recorded in Cork so this this might be a new find! 
As you can sort of see it's a beehive shaped stone building actually built into a massive old wall. It was covered in ivy and bracken and briars so I cut away a little (carefully) just to reveal and the entrance and the shape and then I shall contact the project for confirmation. Unfortunately the sun was just at the wrong angle for research type phots but I did get a bit of artiness out of it. Almost like Darkside of the Moon Irish style!

Sweathouse are mysterious but a very good invention, probably a little similar to a Finnish sauna. This is how Leitrim define them:
Sweathouse was packed with turf or wood which was let burn for most of a day, before the hot ashes were raked out. The person using the Sweathouse would undress, sometimes blocking up the entrance with their clothes once inside. Then the patient ‘sweated’ inside for a designated time. It was commonly reported that on leaving the Sweathouse, the patient would immerse themselves in a nearby stream, well or pond. This ‘sweating’ cure was used to treat all sorts of ailments but commonly for rheumatism, arthritis, fevers, sciatica, sore eyes, gout, and to improve skin complexion.
These sort of sweathouse probably date from the anything from the 17th -19th centuries but there are suggestions that some could be much older. It's quite near an open well (now covered in bracken)and has an odd rectangular structure in front which I am hoping might be a sort of plunge pool thingy. A pretty good invention for a damp Irish climate. I'll keep you informed.
No commenting tonight either I'm afraid for we're off to a concert! The first for over two years! Here's who were off to see Slán go foill.


 

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