View Full Version : Alton Towers Castle - May 2009 -

04-06-2009, 10:58 PM
seeing as it cost me 40quid to get into this place i thought id snap the castle in all its glory just before closing time

i think this place needs no introduction but thought id post incase there was someone out there whos never been before

but heres some history...

8th Century - 18th Century

Alton Towers dates back as far as the 8th century when the Towers site became a fortress held by Ceolred, King of Mercia. The Earls of Shrewsbury occupied the castle from 1412 when the Lady Ankarat de Verdun married Sir John Talbot – the title remained in the same family until the 1920’s.

It was the 15th Earl, Charles Talbot, born in 1753, who tamed the landscape surrounding the Towers. With the help of hundreds of artisans, mechanics and labourers, “He made the desert smile” and the Alton Towers dream was born.

Charles ensured that every detail and plan was original, and only consulted other artists in order to avoid imitation. The two principal garden architects were Thomas Allason (1790-1852) and Robert Abrahams (1774-1850), and it was this combination of financial resources, architectural talent and an eye for beauty, which made the gardens the grandiose yet stunning sight they are today.

19th Century

The gardens were first opened to the public in 1860 and thirty years later, garden fetes attended by as many as 30,000 people were common. However, towards the end of the century the fortunes of the Shrewsbury’s began to decline, resulting in the eventual sale of the house and remaining land in 1924 to a consortium of local business men.

20th Century

1920 The park was taken over by some local businessmen and the main shareholder was William Bagshaw who was an estate agent from Uttoxeter. After he died it was taken over by his two sons, Denis and Anthony.

1924 House and Gardens form Alton Towers Ltd. The gardens are restored and attract crowds throughout the roaring twenties and thirties.

1939 World War II starts and the house is requisitioned as an officer cadet training camp. The house and grounds remain under the control of the war office until 1951.

1952 The gardens reopen. The house is by now very dilapidated, but a tea rooms operates in the once grand Banqueting Hall and travelling fun fair rides are to be found in the grounds.

1973 John Broome entered the scene when he married the daughter of Denis and became involved with the family business. A short while later he was able to buy a majority stake in Alton Towers. Marrying the owner's daughter surely must have helped! But he was already a wealthy man through his dealings in the property market.
The 1970’s were a progressive stage in the development of Alton Towers with many of the rides and areas that we see today built and/or installed.

1980 This is THE year when the Corkscrew rollercoaster was opened!!

1980’s Massive development of the site saw the introduction of the Pirate Ship, Log Flume, Black Hole, Enterprise, Congo River Rapids, Vintage Car Ride, Tea Cups, Skyride and Monorail. Many of these rides still exist on the site today in some guise or another!

1990 Alton Towers acquired by the Tussauds Group.

1990’s More massive investment and development throughout the 1990’s, with rides such as the Runaway Mine Train, Haunted House, Energizer, and Ripsaw. Major rides such as Nemesis (1994) and Oblivion (1998) were also installed during this time period, and the first Alton Towers Hotel opened in March 1996.






















04-06-2009, 11:13 PM
I had no idea about the history of this, thanks Georgie. Really liking the black and white courtyard :)

04-06-2009, 11:17 PM
Great write up n grea pics :thumb

05-06-2009, 09:20 AM
great information...love that ceiling shot...what colours! :thumb

05-06-2009, 09:45 AM
cool pics nice report :)

05-06-2009, 03:34 PM
Really great pics!

05-06-2009, 03:59 PM
That's pretty good. Some nice shots here. Good work :thumb

05-06-2009, 05:30 PM
Thanks Gorgie been to this place a few times and had no idea about the history

05-06-2009, 05:53 PM
As thers have said, no idea about this place really.... :thumb