Pictures taken in May 2015 in and around Silvermines.

You may first wish to visit this wonderful site,  "Walking Silvermines"
On the home page is a layout of the Silverrmines area, so you can get a rough idea where things are located.
Run your cursor over a number on the map for a summary of what it is. Click on the number for a more detailed explanation.
You will notice the notation pointing to the direction for the town of Nenagh to the North of Silvermines, on route R500. Nenagh is the market town for this area.
Here is a map of the Silvermines region. If you are able to increase the viewing size of the map, you will notice that Silvermines is located where it says "you are here" near the center of the map. Due north, about 6 miles, is the big market town in North Tipperary, Nenagh. About 15 miles due east of Silvermines you will notice the "Devil's Bit Mountain." James Gleeson, the son of James Gleeson and Ellen Herbert, would tell his two children they were  "Roarin' Tips from the Devil's Bit." The mountain got its name because the devil took a bite out of the mountain in this spot in North Tipperary. There is a small gap in the mountain between one outcrop of rock (known as the Rock) and another small plateau. The legend says that the devil broke his teeth taking this bite and he spit out the chunk of rock forming the Rock of Cashel, which can be seen today in South Tipperary.  Here is a photo of the Devil's Bit. If you look closely, you can see the cross that was placed on the mountain top(Rock) to the right of the Devil's Bit in 1954.
Then about 6 miles due north of the Devil's Bit is the town of Moneygall. This is where President Obama's great great great grandfather Falmouth Kearny(1830-1878) came from.
Here is the
Welcome to Silvermines sign. This explains that Silvermines was the bronze winner of the 2013 "Tidy Town" award in the Republic of Ireland.
Also in town is this statue to the Mining past of Silvermines which goes back over 1,000 years. Another view of statue.  Here is the center of town. Just down the street from the center of town, going east on R499, is a beautiful little park with a stream passing through it. Here is another view of the park.
Here is the abandoned pub in town. (Thankfully there is another pub, up near the church.) Here were our delightful hosts, Helen and Pat Sheehan of the Hillview B & B, a couple doors from the center of town along the road to Nenagh. Pat is a member of the Silvermines Historical Society and he  graciously took us on a tour of Silvermines and Garryard. Thanks Pat!!!
The road from Nenagh comes through the middle of town and ends at what is now the Roman Catholic church. Meditation Garden entrance. Inside the meditation garden is the foot print of the old Catholic Church built in 1804, and torn down in 1972. See this page for the story of how the Catholics ended up with the property where the Church of Ireland Protestant Church stood for many years. To the south of town are the Silvermine Mountains. Here is a view from the mountainside, looking back at the town of Silvermines.

Where the various GLEESON Families lived.
As you exit town going to the west, you will come to the region known as East Garryard, just before you get to the junction of the two ro ads leaving Silvermines, Garryard East would be on the north side of town. The Guyn family lives just north of the road in East Garryard..
Past the junction, where it becomes a single road(R499) the remaining 2/3 of the map is roughly the area that comprises Garryard West Townland. All the structures on the 1901 and 1911 census that comprise West Garryard are scattered down this road over a two or three mile distance.. Possibly due to land reforms passed in the late 1800's, all those living in Garryard West owned their home, but they probably were on purchase arrangements which lasted for 49 years. They were probably still renting the surrounding fields, and only owned a small plot of land near their homes..
The Garyard West structures closest to Silvermines were all on the right hand, or north side of the road until you reach the #9 marking on the map. The homes now along that north side stretch of road belonging to the following families: Gleeson(Whelan), Gleeson(Fira), Gleeson(Con), Gleeson(Jacks), Ryan, Russell and Gleeson(Cooper) families. Then on the left, south side of the road you pass the abandoned Gleeson residence, Mortimer Gleeson, anorther Gleeson(Fira), and yet another Gleeson residence.

Is this where our Gleeson family originated?
At the #9 marking on the "Walking Silvermines" map referenced at the top of this page is the first structure on the south side of the road. This property near the road was probably the house owned by James Gleeson?.

Here is a picture of the gate there now. It is the entrance to the former Magcobar Mine. Just behind and to the right of the gate are some bushes and trees, hiding the existence of an old structure which is probably the old residence of the James Gleeson family.View through side room window. Here is a closer look inside the side room. You can see the structure was used to deposit mining core samples in the late 1900's. They are scattered on the ground inside the structure.
View through the front window. Great grandchildren, Anne and Janice, of James Gleeson and Ellen Herbert arrive at the front door. Here is a view inside the front door. It has been a long time since anyone has lived here, given the vegatation inside.  Here is Janice welcoming people inside. Probably the first time a Gleeson/Herbert descendant has welcomed anyone through those doors in over 100 years.

Directly across the road from the old house is a field that was probably rented by the Gleeson family.

Up the hill from the old structure are the remnants of the old Magcober mining operation.Here is the open pit that has filled in with water.

I believe this is the entrance to the former Mogul mine, #11 on the Walking Silvermines Map.

This is a road sign along route N7, between Nenagh and Birdhill. If you look closely in the background, in the lower right corner of the picture, you will see a sign pointing to the direction of Boher Church, which is down this road. Boher Church is where James Gleeson and Ellen Herbert were married on 10 January 1880. However, when you arrive at the church you will find this modern Boher church . The bell at the top of the polls in front of the church we would assume came from the original church. On this map, Boher is located on the road between the towns of Bushfield and Ballina, about 8 miles west of Silvermines.

Return to: James GLEESON/Ellen HERBERT family page.

This page was last updated on 19 June 2015