Historical Bus Tours Summer 2013 With Local historian S. Alex Blair

Tour 1: Dervock, Derrykeighan Churchyard, Benvarden House and Gardens
Date: Wednesday 26th June
Join Mr. Blair, on the first of this year’s historical bus tours, as we visit Benvarden House and Gardens, one of the largest and finest mansions in North Antrim. Home to the Montgomery family, there is much to see including the beautiful gardens, the old farmyard with its stables and the splendid interior of the house. Afternoon tea will be served at Benvarden and Mr. Blair will talk about the history of the house and tell the story of ‘Half-hanged McNaughton’. There will also be short stops in Dervock and Derrykeighan Old Graveyard, where Mr. Blair will give a history of the ancient church and point out some interesting gravestones.

Tour 2: Our Lady Of Bethlehem Abbey, Cistercian Monastery
Date: Thursday 25th July
This tour will present a unique experience, offering a chance to see something of the monastic community and tour the site. Beginning at Portglenone House, Mr. Blair will talk about the history of the house as well as outline the history of the Cistercians from their beginnings in 1098 at Cîteaux in France. Following afternoon tea, Brother Finbar will show the group through the monastic building, showing them the cloisters, and the public and monastic churches. Time allowing, the grounds and shops on the site may also be visited.

Tour 3: Lissanoure Castle, Loughguile
Date: Tuesday 20th August
In this tour we will look at the life of George, Earl Macartney (1737-1806), the first British Ambassador to China and the place where he lived, Lissanoure Castle, Loughguile. Beginning at All Saints Church within the estate, we will hear the story of its controversial beginnings and about the many Macartney memorials around its walls. Afternoon tea will be served in the striking Macartney Rooms, where Mr. Blair will outline the fascinating and at times troubled history of Lissanoure. Participants will also be treated to a tour of the Peach House and walled gardens by a Mackie family member.

All pick-ups from Townhead Street carpark, Ballymoney at 2pm, returning at 5pm. Suitable outdoor clothing should be worn. Numbers limited to 30 people.
Tickets £10                        To book your place call 028 27 660 230