St Hughes Sweathouse and holy well, Ballinaglera.

Wonderfully well preserved example of an old Irish sweathouse.

St Hughes Sweathouse and holy well

Leitrim is said to have the remains of 78 sweathouses in the county. A hot bed for what would historically have been the saunas of the day. And Lough Allen itself is the home to many. St Hughes is a wonderful well-preserved example of a sweathouse.  Take the time to visit. You wont be disappointed. Cross to the sweathouse over a dainty little stone bridge. The well housing is a simple beehive structure, made of rustic grey stones and bog. The well and sweathouse in its day would have been a spa dating over 3,000 years ago. A high level of iron and other minerals in the water and the-cave like structure, combined with heavy iron-ore deposits in the walls would have created a natural sauna providing therapy for all sorts of ailments with the high temperatures obtained from the enclosed area. With Sliabh an Iarrain (known as the Iron Mountain) to your back and the beautiful lake-view of Lough Allen in front of you, St Hughes Sweathouse would have made a perfect location to steam the aches away.

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