This April, as the magical Kirklinton Hall (near Carlisle) once again opens its doors to the public, owners Christopher and Ilona Boyle are inviting people to be inspired by the house’s mystery and history with a Faerie story-writing competition.

Kirklinton Hall’s association with faeries dates back to an ancient century carved face located at at the end of the Faerie Glen walk in the Hall’s grounds. A delightful woodland walk along the cliff above Longcleughside Beck, The Faerie Glen traverses three footbridges over tumbling cascades, passes through rhododendron-lined pathways hiding spring bulbs and faeries and culminates in the Captain’s Seat.

Maelgwyn the Fair

Maelgwyn the Fair

A notable local beauty spot, it is also the location of the ancient, enigmatic rock-carved face. Legend tells that this carved face is all that is left of Maelgwyn the Fair, a faerie princess who pined away for love of the first de Boyville who made Kirklinton his home.

Now the Boyle family want a new generation of writers to be inspired by the Hall’s enchanting setting and far-reaching past. Lulu Taylor, award-winning author and Kirklinton-lover has agreed to judge the competition and the winners will be announced on 22 May at the Hall’s annual Fairy Day. The winning stories will be published on

There are three categories; 11 and under, 12 – 18 and over 18s. There is no word count and the deadline for entries is 30 April. Please send submissions to and remember to include your name, contact number and email and please indicate your age.

To celebrate the launch of the competition, there is free entry to Kirklinton Hall and Gardens for children in faerie costume until 22 May.