AN HISTORIC hall is opening its doors for free as part of a special literary event.

Nunnington Hall is joining forces with Ryedale Book Festival for the event on Saturday, April 1, which is designed to appeal to anyone who enjoys books, reading and history.

Laura Kennedy, from National Trust, which owns Nunnington Hall, said: “We are extremely excited and proud to collaborate with the Ryedale Book Festival, and to host such a special literary event.

“The day’s activities will offer something for all ages to enjoy from inspiring writers to illustrators.”

There will be the chance to hear bestselling writer of historical fiction, Sophia Tobin, discussing her latest novel, The Vanishing and her “day-job” in the library of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in London.

The Vanishing is a story of intrigue, revenge and betrayal and perfect reading for fans of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Copies of her Gothic thriller, set fittingly in a manor house on the moors of North Yorkshire, will be available to buy from Waterstones at the event.

There will also be an opportunity to take part in a book binding workshop run by York Bookbinding, or sit back and be entertained by the Dickens Society’s performance of an original radio style drama Murder on Miss Havisham’s Tour, written by Brian Oxberry.

Two local writers and their York-based publisher, Stairwell Books, will be talking about publishing memoirs of their ancestors and there will be plenty of activities to entertain young readers, including a book trail around the house itself and the chance for children to make up their own adventure story by playing a game with some giant storytelling dice.

Children will also be able to enjoy an interactive storytelling session with the illustrator and writer Leigh Hodgkinson, whose picture book “Are you Sitting Comfortably?” pays homage to the joys of reading and finding the perfect place to sit and read.

Ryedale Book Festival director Sarah Tyson said: “We are delighted to be launching our 2017 programme at Nunnington Hall and it really is the perfect setting for a day of book events with a historical theme.

“If you live in Ryedale this is an unprecedented opportunity to see inside your local National Trust property for free.

“Nunnington Hall is such beautiful old manor house and to have these additional literary attractions to enjoy too, must surely be an invitation worth accepting.”

The events will be taking place from 10.30am to 4pm and admission is free for visitors who live in Ryedale upon proof of address.

Standard admission charges apply to non-Ryedale residents but the book events are free.

For more details, go to