Day One - Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2019

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time




Aylward's Rural Heritage Museum



View Map

Event description
A leisurely paced cycle, on vintage bicycles, exploring the history and heritage of Ireland. This year we delve into our medieval past.

About this Event


Would you like to join us on this year's Bulfin Heritage Cycle, but don't particularly fancy cycling?

Then why not join us and travel by bus?!!!

This year for the very first time we are offering people who don't want to, or simply cannot cycle, for whatever reason (and we wont ask)the chance to join us, by availing of a ticket for our Heritage Bus!

The Bulfin Cycle is about so much more than bicycles, with history, heritage, tours, reenactments, pagaents, heritage talks, music, song, food and good old fashioned craic, all on the agenda!

So we thought, "why should people miss out on exploring their history and heritage, just because they don't ride a bike?"

The answer to that hit us like a double decker bus! "A bus!"

So please do come along, leave it all behind for two wonderful days in August, when we step back in time, and discover our hidden heritage!

Check out this year's itinerary below! To purchase ticket, simply select the Heritage Bus option!

Meandering Monks & Medieval Miles & other tales from Ancient Upper Ossory

Details: Day 1: Saturday August 24th

11am: Assembly at Aylward's Rural Heritage Museum

The Full Irish "Bulfin" Breakfast!

Narration from William Bulfin's book; "Rambles in Eirinn"

Cycle to Aghaboe Abbey - via Coleman's Road and Shanahoe.

1pm: Cremogue Church of St. Fintan - Heritage Talk and An Irish Country Picnic.

St. Fintan's Well

Sample a Monk's Austerity Meal ???

Sample a Monk's Indulgence

Making Merry with Traditional Mead

3pm: Aghaboe Abbey - A Celebration of our Monks - Saint's Fergal and Canice

Monastic Trials and Tribulations - Heritage Talk

St Canice: Telling the Story of the Two Coffins - Pageant/Folklore

St. Fergal: Narration from William Bulfin's book - Rambles in Eirinn & The Austrian connection.

"In Days of Old" An Irish "Pattern" Day. Rustic Merriment with Music, Song & Dance.

Food & Refreshments served.

St Canice Commemoration Trail - A Pilgrim Path

5pm: Clough: The Land League Priest - local history/storytelling.

Narration from William Bulfin's book - "Rambles in Eirinn"

Light Refreshments served.

7.30 pm: Bob's Museum Bar Durrow - BBQ, Music & The Ancient Pastime of Skittles

Day 1 Trail - 38K approx

Overnight in Durrow - Camping facilities at The Harps GAA Centre (courtesy of Durrow Scouts & Harps GAA

Option to upgrade to local B&B


Hugh Sheppard - 086 8694691

Noel Mooney - 087 9517311

Matt Doyle - 086 0537356

Sean Conroy - 087 1775651

E-mail: durrow.doings@gmail.com

Postal Applications to: Margaret Alyward, Patrick St., Durrow, Co. Laois, Ireland.

Booking Fee Includes the following

All meals as advertised

Pageant participation

Heritage Site visits

Tents and camping facilities provided

In an effort to uphold the ethos and authenticity of the event, only “High Nelly” bicycles or their genuine replicas will be permitted. Cyclists are encouraged to wear suitable period costume. It is the responsibility of individual cyclists to ensure the safety and roadworthiness of their bicycle prior to involvement in this event.

See www.BulfinHeritageCycle.com for more information, and details of our past events.

Who Was William Bulfin?

William Bulfin was a journalist, travel writer and proud Irish Nationalist, who was born in Derrinlough, Co Offaly in 1864. Having returned from Argentina in 1902, where he worked on the pampas amongst the native gaucho or cowboy tribe, he set off on a journey that took him through the highways and byways of Ireland on a steel framed bicycle made by Pierce of Wexford. “Rambles in Eirinn” is an insightful book written by William Bulfin about his cycling experience.

The travelogue was published in 1907 and proved to be a resounding success, extending to a fourth edition, published in 1915. Taking our inspiration from William's achievements; The Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2019, is the fifth in a series of Heritage adventures promoted by local not-for-profit group "Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails"

Aghaboe Abbey

Aghaboe Abbey was founded in the sixth century by St. Canice. The Abbey grew into a major centre of learning, commerce and agriculture. The astronomer St. Virgilius, also known as St. Feargal, was its abbot in the 700s before he left Ireland, going on to become Bishop of Salzburg, Austria. After the original monastery burned in 1234, it was rebuilt as an Augustinian priory. Today a Church of Ireland, which dates from the 1700s, stands where that priory once stood.

This church appears to contain some fragments of the Augustinians’ buildings. On the east side of the doorway, visitors can see a carved limestone head that dates from the Middle Ages. The small belltower at the northwest corner of the church has the same proportions as one from the 1200s.The fine ruins on this site belong to a Dominican friary founded in 1382 by Finghan MacGillapatrick, Lord of Ossory.

The church, which was conserved by the local community, contains a beautifully carved three-light window in the east wall. Monks would have entered through the doorway in the north wall, which led from the cloister. The doorway in the west wall, through which the public would have entered the church, dates from the Middle Ages. Near Aghaboe Abbey the tree-covered remains of a Norman motte can be seen. The Normans would have built a wooden tower on top of this steep-sided mound of earth, where they could store their arms and from which they could keep a lookout for potential attackers. (Source: http//laois.ie/laoisheritagetrail/aghaboe-abbey/)

Aghaboe Abbey will be visited on Day One, of this year's Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally.

Photograph below from Laois.ie

St. Canices Cathedral Kilkenny

Prior to his death in 1202, it was the vision of Bishop Felix O’Deleaney that the monastic settlement that was St Canice’s should house a cathedral church. Since the 1120’s the See of Ossory had been shifted from Aghaboe to Kilkenny but no new building was erected to mark the move. The bishop was one of the few who realised the significance of the Norman settlement of the region. In consequence, he established the foundations of the cathedral with a view that the practically minded Norman overlords would sponsor the stone masons to erect a house of God worthy of both worship and prestige.

Bishop O’Deleaney died before his vision became real. However in laying the foundations he left the challenge to his successors to complete the task. The 13th century cathedral of St Canice is the second longest cathedral in Ireland. The site on which the cathedral stands has been a site of Christian worship since the 6th century. The architectural style of the cathedral is Early Gothic and it is built of limestone. The cathedral has been carefully preserved in its original style and form. It is richly endowed with many stained glass windows including the East window which is a replica of the original 13th century window. (Source: www.askaboutireland.ie/)

St. Canice's Cathedral, Kilkenny, will be visited on Day Two, of this year's Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally.

Share with friends

Date and Time



Aylward's Rural Heritage Museum



View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved