Historic ruins become rainbow of colour for Christmas carol service

DECK THE HALLS: Jenna Pearcy with her daughter Ebony at Fountains Abbey near Ripon. PIC: Tony Johnson
DECK THE HALLS: Jenna Pearcy with her daughter Ebony at Fountains Abbey near Ripon. PIC: Tony Johnson
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A festive tradition brought families together in one of Yorkshire’s most atmospheric and historic settings for a Christmas sing-song.

Fountains Abbey was once the home of Cistercian monks, but it was the focal point for a concert of carols by candlelight as darkness fell on the River Skell valley near Ripon yesterday.

The annual service, which was led by a local choir, is part of a seasonal programme of celebrations at the famous abbey and next weekend is the last chance before Christmas Day to see a light show which bathes its ruins in the colours of the rainbow while live festive music is played at the cellarium.

Mulled wine and hot pulled pork sandwiches will also be served at the World Heritage Site during the late afternoon event, while the site’s deer park offers the chance to see wild deer munching on their winter feed.

In another tradition, on December 26, visitors are invited to follow in the footsteps of the abbey’s first monks on a Boxing Day pilgrimage which starts in Ripon.

After Christmas, the light show returns on December 27 and December 29 to 31 between 3pm and 5pm on each day.

Ian Watkins

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