Brocken Spectre – an evening of light and sound


Wed 12 - Sat 15 Apr 2017 




Rievaulx Abbey 

Suitable For


In the middle of the abbey ruins is a a person's shadow surrounded by a swirl of rainbow colours.

Access to the event is only via the free shuttle bus service which leaves and returns to The Cleveland Way Car Park (at Helmsley Castle). Buses will run on a constant loop between Helmsley and Rievaulx from 6.30pm until 10pm.

A limited amount of blue badge holder parking is available on site, this must be booked in advance through Customer Services. Unfortunately due to access, this event is not suitable for wheelchair users.

To get the optimum experience of the lighting effects, arriving after 7.30pm is advised. The rare Brocken Spectre effect will be available to view from 8pm.

This Easter, immerse yourself in an exclusive sound and light spectacle at one of Yorkshire's finest abbeys. Over four nights Rievaulx Abbey will be transformed by artist Charles Monkhouse, to bring a unique phenomenon to the majestic ruins - Brocken Spectre.

What is a Brocken Spectre?
Created by mixing light and mist, you will see a magnified version of your own shadow upon a mist, surrounded by a halo. A once in a lifetime experience.

Charles has created a mechanical mist generator and light installation to realise this vision. With the full system running, 160 litres of water will be used to create the mist for one night – enough for about 884 cups of tea!

Your journey around Rievaulx Abbey by night, will take you into four areas:

Illumaphonium (Infirmary Cloister)
The first step on your journey, the Illumaphonium is an interactive music installation like you’ve never seen before. Standing at 3.5metres tall, you can play the illuminated aluminium chime bars, and watch as they respond with patterns of light and sound.

Silent voices(Cloister)
Walking through the Cloister you will hear the children of Helmsley Community Primary School as they voice poems inspired by the life of monks at Rievaulx, written under the guidance of Writer, Tracey Iceton. This area is the perfect spot to admire the beauty of Rievaulx Abbey by night.

Projections(North and South Transept)
See visual accounts from Brocken Spectre experiences projected on to the transept walls.

Brocken Spectre(Sanctuary)
Your chance to witness this rare and dramatic phenomenon first-hand. The Brocken Spectre effect is created by mixing light and mist, as a result you will witnesses a magnified version of your own shadow, cast upon a mist, and surrounded by a halo. A once in a lifetime experience!

Also available to enjoy on the night:

Rievaulx Abbey Museum
Explore more about life at the Abbey in the recently refurbished museum. View previously unseen artefacts including, elaborate medieval stone carvings, chess pieces and gold coins which tell the story of the rise and dramatic fall of the first Cistercian abbey in the North of England.

Food and refreshments
Tempt your taste buds with a selection of hot and cold food, and refreshments from the café and BBQ Tent. Enjoy Peppered Steak & Ale Pie or a Stilton & Broccoli Quiche. For a lighter bite order Cheese & Biscuits with a glass of wine, and enjoy al fresco on our picnic benches.

Rievaulx shop
Visit the excellent on site shop to pick up a souvenir from your visit.


Type Price
Member (Adult) £5.00
Member (Child) £3.00
Member (Concession) £4.50
Member (Family) £12.00
Adult £10.00
Child, 5-15 years £6.00
Concession £9.00
Family £23.50

Price Notes

Corporate members can now enjoy free entry to our site on event days. To see if your membership includes this benefit, please call English Heritage customer services on 0370 333 1181.

How to book

Purchase your tickets today using our online system below or by calling our dedicated Ticket Sales Team on 0870 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 Sat 9am – 5pm) Please note the telephone bookings will close at 3pm the day before the event or 3pm on Friday if the event is on a weekend. Tickets will also be available to purchase online and at the event site on the day.

How to find us

Rievaulx, Nr Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5LB
North Yorkshire, Yorkshire and the Humber

Membership starts from £45.00

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