Local histoy talks and tours

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As part of its summer programme, Ballymoney Borough Arts Committee has organised a new programme of talks and tours led by popular local historian S Alex Blair.

These tours are always a popular feature of the Committee’s summer programme offering both local people and visitors the opportunity to learn more about the history of many interesting buildings and sites in the Borough.

The first talk in the series is entitled “The Church of Our Lady & St Patrick & the Rev John McErlane” and it takes place on Wednesday 13 June at 7pm at the Church of Our Lady and St Patrick in Castle Street, Ballymoney. The church has recently re-opened after major refurbishment and this visit will give people the opportunity to see the work which has been carried out and to learn about the church’s history.

The talk will begin in the graveyard at the front of the church where Mr Blair will show visitors the site of the Celtic fort, one of two such forts, around which Ballymoney has its origins. Here also is the site of the primitive chapel erected at the close of the eighteenth century and Mr Blair will speak of it and its successor, both of which preceded the present building.

In the graveyard he will also point out the grave of the famous playwright, George Shiels, and the impressive Kirgan Mausoleum. After viewing the exterior of the present building, the tour will then move inside where Mr Blair will talk about the magnificent interior and the life of the Rev John McErlane, who was responsible for erecting the building.

The second talk in the series “Trinity Presbyterian Church & the Rev J B Armour,” takes place on Monday 2 July at Trinity Church, Rodeing Foot, Ballymoney and the final talk on Tuesday 7 August focuses on “The Village of Dervock & Kennedy Kane McArthur”. It will begin outside the former Market House in Dervock.

All talks take place at 7pm and there is no charge. For further details contact Ballymoney Town Hall 028 2766 0230.