Tullynafreave : Sweat House

Grid RefH 028 298
Longitude7° 57' 25.46" W
Latitude54° 13' 1.28" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDrumkeeran (13.3 Km)
OS Sheet26
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 1st June 2003

My word, I got an odd look from the farmer here. He looked at me out of the window with great suspicion. When he answered the door I got more looks, but as soon as I asked if I could see his sweathouse his whole demeanor changed. Of course I can! And he gave me rough instructions on how to find it.

I have come to think of sweathouses as being bell shaped affairs, although I have seen pictures of box-like ones. This is a box like example. It is built into a bank about 8m from a wonderfully babbling stream.

The rectangular front is all that is visible with its small square doorway set centrally. There are still signs of soot around the doorway and all over the capstone inside. This one has a corbelled roof stucture.

The ground around the front of the building is amazingly muddy and slopes a lot, so keeping my footing whilst trying to take pictures was very amusing.

This is an excellent example and is in very good condition, although it may be under threat a little from the farmer throwing things down the bank a few meters away. Take the time to visit it to remind the farmer that people are interested in seeing it and to add a little pressure on him to make sure it doesn't get damaged. He seemed quite proud of having it, so I don't think he'd do anything intentionally.

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Mrs McLoughlin of Tullynafreave claimed in 1992 that her maternal great-grandfather built the
sweathouse standing some 50 metres from her modern dwelling to save his wife the trouble of travelling to the sweathouse in neighbouring Meenaslieve. She said that her grandmother and perhaps her mother also had used it, and did not think that their spouses had done so. But whether this is an isolated example of late construction (say around 1885) is impossible to determine.

Above information courtesy of A. Weir

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Sweat Houses

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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