The 'Rapunzel' tower opening for 'one day only' on outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent

The grounds of Biddulph Old Hall are opening to the public for one day only for The Festival of Brilliant, a celebration of children's books
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Like something straight out of the Disney movie Tangled, the six-storey turreted tower is somewhat of a landmark in the North Staffordshire landscape.

However, the Rapunzel-esque building - officially called Biddulph Old Hall - is usually hidden away from public view. Now for one day only the 'fairy tale' hall will open its doors for visitors to explore the grounds.

The historic property was in a 'dangerously poor' state, with the tower on the brink of collapse when Nigel Daly and Brian Vowles took ownership. Their extensive restoration efforts, which included drying out the house, repairing roofs and guttering, and restoring the kitchen, staircase and a massive 14ft fireplace in the Great Hall, were featured on BBC2's Restored to Glory.

While renovations are still ongoing, this weekend the hall's grounds will play host to The Festival of Brilliant, a new children's book festival. Tickets are a bargain at just £5, with under threes admitted free of charge.

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The festival will feature readings, talks, workshops, performances, installations and activities led by world-renowned authors, illustrators and artists such as Frank Cottrell Boyce and Nadia Shireen. Families can also enjoy literary-themed circus and theatre workshops, comedy, music, dance, storytelling and more, reports Birmingham Live.

Set for July 13, the festival is a collaborative effort by OUTSIDE, Staffordshire Moorlands librarians, and local book enthusiasts who champion the idea that 'stories have the power to change the world'. Details and ticket bookings are available on the Outside Arts website.

Additionally, the festival will open its doors tomorrow (Friday July 12) exclusively for schools and community groups, offering free admission.

OUTSIDE's creative director, Sarah Bird, expressed her enthusiasm: "We believe that books and stories have the power to change the world, so we couldn't be more excited to have this celebration of brilliant children's books in Biddulph. Biddulph Old Hall is the perfect backdrop, it has such a magical, fairy tale feel. And the festival is a brilliant opportunity to experience this amazing place.

"We're inviting schools and families from across the Moorlands to join us and a raft of world class authors, illustrators and artists for an incredible festival that will feed their imaginations."

The circus theatre group Tit for Tat will entertain with its acrobatic and fire juggling act BOOKS!, while musician David Gibb is set to delight with his comical songs and tales. The FRONTLINEdance Explorers Team invites audiences to participate in bringing two narratives to life using movement, colour, sound, and collaboration.

Storyteller Ian Douglas and puppeteer Jo Douglas will be on hand with The Magic Lantern, a fascinating device that roams the land sharing and gathering tales. Meanwhile, arts group Wild Rumpus will be encouraging everyone to contribute a line to the longest story ever told, in an effort to create The Brilliant Neverending Story.

In addition to this, there will be a haiku workshop and history walk, food and drink stalls, a mini craft market and the stunning surroundings of Biddulph Old Hall for guests to explore. More information about the hall and how to contribute to its restoration fund can be found on the Biddulph Old Hall website.

For those wondering how to reach Biddulph Old Hall, the address is Biddulph Old Hall, Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent, ST8 7SQ.

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