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Features Of Glangevlin

The Spa Wells

There are many spa wells in the area. The water contains sulphur
which cures arthritis and worms in children. People used this water
for cooking and drinking until the group water scheme was introduced. Visitors come here and take bottles of this water home with them.

Sweat Houses

“Tighte Alluis”. Sweet houses are similar to the present “sauna”. A sweat house was an excavation dug into the side of a bank or brae. It was lined with stones built up against the clay leaving a small entrance and it was roofed with stone flags. The height of the roof from the centre of the stone flag floor was about 6 ft. or 8 ft. The structure was designed to retain heat for a long period. Usually in Spring and Autumn a person complaining of pains and aches went to a sweat house and set a huge fire alight. When the fire was quenched he threw rushes on the floor, took off his clothes, wrapped himself in a blanket and crept into the sweat house, somebody closed the entrance with a stone flag. The patient lay there in the intense heat until he sweated the pains and aches away. When he came out he put on his clothes and went home to bed. There are sweat houses in Cuppenagh, Legglass and Legagrow. The one in Legnagrow is still in a good state of preservation

This is only a pile of stones thrown on a spot on Cuilceagh near Commas where a man named Kellegher was drowned in a stream nearby. He used to travel from Gubaveeny and cross the mountain by foot path to Swanlinbar where he sold noggens. (wooden cup) One night as he was coming back along the path a mist fell on the mountain and he lost his way and was drowned. People who used to pass that way afterwards threw a pebble on the spot where he died hence Kellegher’s Carraigin (Kellegher’s Little Rock).

The Big Brigade

In 1780 Grand Juries were allowed to levy a tax on the country for the making and repairs of roads. James Hamilton of Dowra was a member of a Grand Jury and through his influence the road from Glan to Dowra was made before the one to Blacklion. The Big Brigade was built at the same time in 1846.

In 1906-1909 sappers measured the land in Ireland by the use of marks called “turkeys claws” one of which can be seen on the “Big Bridge.” This bridge spans the Abhann Mhor. It is located on the Dowra Road in the townland of Garvolt. It is a remarkable one as it is the second largest one in Ireland which has only one eye, the largest spans the Blackwater in Cork. Strangely enough both bridges are reputed to have been built by the same contractor who was supposed to be a McLoughlin from Enniskillen and his three sons. The stones with which the big bridge was built were excavated by manual labour from huge rocks found in Garvolt. The chisels were sharpened in a nearby forge, which was specially erected by the contractor for that purpose. He was so keen that when the bridge was finished there was only one stone left over, and it can be seen nearby up to the present day. After the bridge was completed and the wooden supports were taken away a loud crackling noise was heard which frightened the contractor so much that he was unfit to undertake any other building contracts.

A story is told about the forge which remained long after the construction of the bridge was finished. One night a local farmer decided to use it as a byre to “house” his calves for the winter. As he was driving them in, clods were thrown from all directions and the farmer cried aloud “Let me house my calves for the winter and I will never bother you again.” The clodding stopped and the farmer was granted his wish. Many foreign visitors come to fish in the Abhann Mhor and marvel at the structure of the bridge. Geologists ask many questions about it. A “turkey’s claw” which is a mark left by sap­pers who were mapping Ireland is in view on the top of the bridge.

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