Gainsborough Illuminate Lantern Parade this November

Date published: 10 October 2019
Illuminate Gains

A dazzling display of lights will parade through the town on Saturday 16 November launching the commemorative year of the sailing of the Mayflower.

Although the historic voyage took place at Plymouth, many leading Separatists, who later became known as the Pilgrims came from this region including Gainsborough.

Gainsborough’s Illuminate parade is the first of six parades and will start at the United Reformed Church, following a route through the town with a spectacular light projection onto Gainsborough Old Hall. Now regarded as one of the best preserved medieval manor houses in Britain, a group of Separatists were thought to have worshipped in secret at Gainsborough Old Hall which is now a much loved visitor attraction within the town.

New trail boards have also been unveiled this week at the Old Hall and the United Reformed Church as part of the National Lottery Heritage Funded Pilgrim Roots project, led by Bassetlaw District Council with West Lindsey District Council. The new trail will allow visitors to explore the heritage sites with special connections to the Mayflower Pilgrims’ story across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire. This 40 mile circular self-driven route highlights the key places where some of the Pilgrims lived, worked and prayed before they began their new lives in Holland and America. West Lindsey District Council and Gainsborough Old Hall were pleased to welcome renowned Pilgrim historian Dr Jeremy Bangs, Director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, on a recent visit to see the new trail in Gainsborough.

This year’s Illuminate event has been made possible with thanks to a £100,000 grant from Arts Council England. The grant will be used to support the parade as the opening event for Gainsborough’s 2020 Mayflower 400 cultural programme.

Councillor Owen Bierley, Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, said: “We’re delighted to be holding our Illuminate parade again this year that will launch the commemorative year locally and internationally.

“We are very grateful to Arts Council England who have awarded the grant as it will allow us to put on spectacular events across the town bringing our communities together.”

Everyone is welcome to join the parade and a series of free lantern making workshops will take place next month to allow the public to create their own lanterns.

Workshops will take place at the following locations and times:

  •  Gainsborough Old Hall, Friday 25 October from 10am to 4pm
  •  The United Reformed Church, Saturday 26 October and Saturday 9 November from 10am-4pm on both days.

Further details of the Illuminate Parade will be available at or search for Discover Gainsborough on Facebook or Twitter. 

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit:

Follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or sign up to our newsletter