A SPECIAL set of stamps is being launched to mark the 150th anniversary of Lewis Caroll's classic adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

Award-winning illustrator Grahame Baker-Smith was commissioned to illustrate ten scenes, featuring characters such as White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat and Alice herself.

The book has connections to the North Yorkshire city of Ripon where a giant 36ft-wide and 46ft-deep hole that first appeared in 1834, and remains open to this day, is said to have inspired the rabbit hole through which Alice gains admittance to Wonderland.

To coincide with the launch, the Royal Mail has collaborated with children's publisher Walker Books to create a book based on the stamp artwork.

Andrew Hammond, Royal Mail director of stamps and collectibles, said: "The story of Alice in Wonderland remains a perennial favourite of children, and indeed adults, around the world.

"It is fitting that in its 150th anniversary year it is celebrated with a wonderful set of stamps featuring striking images that do justice to such an iconic tale."

The story of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, originally entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground, came about as a result of a friendship between the Rev Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a young don at Christ Church in Oxford, and the children of the dean of the college, one of whom was Alice Liddell.

Originally a story made up to entertain the children on a boat trip, Alice asked for it to be written down, which Dodgson did as a Christmas gift in 1864 with his own illustrations.