House of Fairy Tales brings magic to Quarry Bank

Families will be able to enjoy an adventure of intergalactic proportions at Quarry Bank this summer.

The House of Fairy Tales – a nationally-renowned children’s educational arts charity – has created an attraction telling the story of a mechanical seed that has crash landed at Quarry Bank from outer space.

Visitors enter the Gallery to see the metal seed has unfurled its tentacles around the room leading to activities that inspire the senses, stimulate the imagination and simply entertain.

Oliver Wallace

Inside there’s a puppet theatre, craft activities, mechanical artwork and various puzzles for children to solve. Outside a trail leads families around Quarry Bank’s gardens and encourages everyone to create cloud-gazing poems.

“It is like nothing we have seen here before and will enchant visitors both young and old,” said Kate Picker, Programming Officer at Quarry Bank.

Margaret Bollington

“Working with The House of Fairy Tales has been inspiring and the end result is going to wow everyone this summer.”

Two local schools – Styal and Crossacres Primary – have already helped the project by sharing their thoughts on the wonders and joys of gardening. Their work is included in the final exhibition.

International artists have also contributed pieces including Gavin Turk, who has exhibited in major galleries and museums across the world, and Sir Peter Blake who co-created the sleeve design for the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Turk’s piece is a modernist 3D glass rectangle with micro-thin layers of metal and oxide that refract coloured light.

“The Clockwork Garden asks members of the audience to explain their ideas of what a garden might be to an alien or non-biased intelligence,” he said.

“My work takes discarded waste from an open air dump site and repackages it in an ultra-modernist form which for me highlights some of the ways that a cultured outdoor space might indeed function.”

Others displaying their talents in The Clockwork Garden are Cabaret Mechanical, Matt Collishaw, Steve Clayton and Darling & Edge.

The Clockwork Garden is on now and runs until September 11. It is free but admission charges apply. For more details go to


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