Thornton Abbey Pageant with Sound and Light

Pageant type

Jump to Summary


Place: Thornton Abbey (Thornton) (Thornton, Lincolnshire, England)

Year: 1969

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 1


7 September 1969 at 7.30pm

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Director [Pageant Master]: Hankinson, George
  • Narrator: Patrick Wymark
  • Historical Research: Rodney Ambler
  • Choreography: Elaine Lee
  • Sound: David Williams
  • Lighting: Geoffrey Mostyn Lewis
  • Catering: County Caterers, Ltd.


Sponsored by the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, supported by the Lincolnshire Association.

Names of executive committee or equivalent


Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Clark, Brian

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Financial information


Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion


Audience information

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Associated events

There was a bar in amarquee

Pageant outline

Episode 1. Foundation of Priory, 1139

Episode 2. Building of the Abbey, 1264-1368

Episode 3. Gatehouse Fortified, 1382

Episode 4. Bishop Alnwick’s Visitation, 1440

Episode 5. Papal Recognition, 1518

Episode 6. Surrender of the Abbey, 1536

Episode 7. Visit of King Henry VIII, 1541

Episode 8. Suppression of College by Edward VI, 1547

Episode 9, The Future, 1970


Key historical figures mentioned

  • Alnwick, William (d. 1449) bishop of Norwich and Lincoln
  • Henry VIII (1491–1547) king of England and Ireland

Musical production


Newspaper coverage of pageant


Book of words

None noted

Other primary published materials

  • Thornton Abbey, Pageant with Sound and Light [Programme]. Grimsby, 1969.

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Copy in Lincolnshire Archives, Reference Misc Don 1403/3/12

Sources used in preparation of pageant



This was a small pageant of the son et lumière type that was gaining in popularity by the 1960s (see Buxton (1958)). Its focus was the specific history of Thornton Abbey, and it was performed just once, outdoors, in the evening (so as to better appreciate the light effects). It featured dancing by members of the Elaine Lee School of Dancing, while its cast was drawn from the Scunthorpe Drama Federation.


How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Thornton Abbey Pageant with Sound and Light’, The Redress of the Past,