01.10.15 #NOHL

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

*This is a closed site and not open to the public. Invitation only*
@fountainsabbey #FountainsAbbey

Location of Site: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Names: Adam Glatherine and David Battersby


I am driven by my passions for light and form, expressed and nourished through my lighting design and photography practices. My love of art is coupled with an enthusiasm for technology. Degrees in both Art and Design, and Building Services Engineering give a solid grounding to these diverse and complementary interests. As the founder of G3 Lighting Design, I have worked on schemes of all sizes ranging from Universities to Hospitals and Energy from Waste Plants via Railway Stations to Shopping Centres, Offices, Car Parks and beyond.

I've been meaning to get involved with the SLL for a long time, so for me this is part of the process of doing so.

Why did you want to be involved in the Night of Heritage Light (NoHL)?

The chance to engage with such a gorgeous piece of our architectural history using light while also getting to spend an evening as part of a group playing with lighting kit was simply too good to miss!I first visited Fountains Abbey almost 15 years ago while studying Architecture and was deeply struck by its compelling atmosphere and structural beauty.


My history in lighting goes back 26 years when I started lighting theatrical shows. This led me to my life of lighting. I currently work as lighting designer for Apollo Lighting Ltd and have spent time at both High Technology Lighting and Whitecroft Lighting. During my career I achieved the Abacus Lighting Award for Outstanding Student of the Year (2004) and have continued to develop in the lighting world. One of my specialities is lighting control, which comes from my theatrical background. Lighting is in my blood as my grandfather was a lighting designer in the 50’s and 60’s. Although I am a fairly new member of the Society of Light and Lighting, I has started taking an active role in various different aspects of both Society and the CIBSE.


Why did you want to be involved with NoHL and this site in particular?

My reasons for wanting to be involved with such a prestigious project are many, ranging from personal to professional, involving many aspects of my life. Firstly, I wanted to be involved with the project as I thrive on the people’s reaction to lighting and this is the ideal opportunity to install a lighting scheme never before seen to celebrate the IYL 2015. I also have a skill set involving productions and temporary lighting installations for both for inside and exterior events.

One of the main reasons I wanted to be involved with this particular site is the connection with my grandfather. My grandfather was a Lighting Designer and was involved with schemes at Fountains Abbey in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. I believe he was involved with the original floodlighting but I know he took part in the Son et Lumiere festivals. I am trying to find out more information from the National Archives at Kew, who hold some of the original floodlighting plans and also from Compton Parkinson directly, although I think there may only be handwritten memos left after the amount of time elapsed.


What can you tell us your plans for the site?

The east elevation of Fountains Abbey rarely gets the attention it deserves, yet it is highly symbolic of the status of Fountains Abbey / Studley Royal as a World Heritage site. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal were joined by a rich landowner in the eighteenth century in order to bring the beautiful Abbey ruins that he and his guests had often viewed from afar into his estate. This act created a combined site that as a whole was considered of sufficient significance to achieve the world heritage status in 1986. The unification of these sites is embodied by the view of the East side of the Abbey from Anne Boleyn’s seat high up in the adjacent Studley Royal grounds, from where the Abbey would traditionally have been approached. In recent decades the approach and first view of the Abbey has generally been from the west side, so the east elevation has sadly lost much of its iconic status.

Through selecting to illuminate the stunning yet often overlooked east elevation we seek to temporarily readdress its loss of iconic status by using light to draw to it the attention it deserves. The particular way light will be used on the east façade is intended bring out even older historical aspects of the abbey and tie them together with the contemporary values of the International Year of Light (IYL) 2015.

In the proposed design the colour once present inside the abbey buildings pre-dissolution is hinted at using the ethereal medium of light. Shafts of light symbolise centuries of culture built up within these walls, walls of a building that was once a beacon of learning in a largely illiterate age. These graphic light elements taken from the IYOL logo and applied to the east façade of Fountains Abbey simultaneously represent the contemporary values of IYOL 2015 and the great historic depth of invaluable world heritage contained within the Fountain’s Abbey and Studley Royal site. Anne Boleyn’s seat is not forgotten. A graphic aspect of the IYOL logo will also be applied here, linking it to the east façade and reminding us of the view that was partially instrumental in making Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal the site of World Heritage that it is today.