Ruins to ring with sound of music

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The spectacular ruins at Rievaulx Abbey on the North York Moors will be the setting for an al fresco Christmas carol concert tomorrow, with the Bilsdale Silver Band leading the musical celebrations.

The annual event, which attracts visitors from all over the UK, is one of the highlights of Rievaulx Abbey’s winter event programme, as the band invites the massed visitors to join in with traditional Christmas carols within the ruins of the Cistercian Abbey.

English Heritage’s regional events manager Jon Hogan says: “This is always a very special event, signifying the real start of the festive season for many people.

“With no roof between the nave and the heavens, the acoustics in the abbey are fantastic, which gives a very special sound when the band and congregation join instruments and voices.”

For the community of Rievaulx, the concert provides an excellent opportunity for them to welcome visitors with hot drinks and mince pies served in the church hall next to Rievaulx Abbey during an interval in the carol singing.

The Christmas Carols start at 1.30pm in the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.

Visitors are advised to wear warm and waterproof clothing in case of inclement weather.

In very bad weather, the concert will be moved indoors to the neighbouring church.

Admission to the event is £5.60 for adults, £5.00 for concessions and £3.40 for children. English Heritage members get in free.

For further details, please contact Rievaulx Abbey on (01439) 798228 or visit