Alton Towers is the largest theme park in Britain and one of the largest in the world. It is situated not far from Stoke-on-Trent in the north midlands, approximately in the geographical centre of England, and for the last four years has been the country's most popular visitor attraction.

New rides are constantly being developed but the most popular include The Nemesis, where passengers can be subjected to forces up to 4 times that of gravity, the Back Hole and the Thunderlooper.

One extra little factoid: recent research amongst teenagers showed Alton Towers is the best place to meet members of the opposite sex after youth clubs and schools. American research shows that thrill rides make couples more tactile and loving.

Update: The Thunderlooper has been sold to a park in Brazil (or somewhere around there) for two reasons, one is that it was always breaking down (every morning hammering could be heard coming from the 'looper) and the other is that Alton Towers built the ride without planning permission - Alton Towers is set in a woodland area near to the peak district and so it has to follow strict guidlines as to what it can build, one of which is that no ride is allowed to be visible from outside the park. The 'looper was very high and despite painting the top blue it was still visible for miles around, hence it had to go.

Enjoyed this little snippit? I'm writing more in Tales from Alton Towers

The History of Alton towers is somewhat varied, there is a long history and its also a well known history to people of local nature.

Alton Towers was built in an area called Banbury Hill. The main purpose for it was an Iron Age Fort before 1000BC, but in 700AD the Saxon King Coelred of Mercia took it and turned it into a fortress, which would help him, struggle against King Ine of Wessex.

Since that time the land surrounding Alton Towers had many users and owners. Around the time of 1100's a crusader called Bertram De Verdun was given the land for his work in the Holy Land Wars. Soon after this a French Family was to take over the estate and land, The Husband of the family (John Talbot who was the first Earl of Shrewsbury) was brave and gallant, he fought alongside Henry V and the family was always in the hearts of the rulers of the country.

Originally known as Alveton Lodge or Alton Lodge during the early years of its life, it was soon to become house to the Earl and his family and when Charles became the 15th Earl it was decided that major extensions were to be made. With planning completed, work started in 1800, and was not finished until 1852.

It was well known that Charles loved gardens and the delicate scenery of the grounds surrounding his house, he therefore set about turning the dry valley (which is located east of the house) into one of Britain’s most finest examples of stately home gardens. In the years of 1806-1807, 5,000 conifers, and 8,000 other trees were planted in the grounds.

With the gardens started and on their way, work on the house finally started in 1811 and was also soon renamed Alton Abbey (there was no hold for it to be called an Abbey though!)And work that was done in those times, are still visible around the house today. 1827 saw the death of Charles, but his nephew, John took up the work and finish the house and gardens. Soon after the completion of the house a monument was put up in respect to Charles with the words:

"He made the desert smile"

The main residence in Heythrop was burned to the ground in the 1837, and everything that was recovered from the inferno was taken to newly renamed Alton Towers. It was the 20th Earl of Shrewsbury (Charles Henry Talbot) who started to use Alton Towers for entertainment, organizing fetes, illuminations and firework displays, such things as balloon festivals were very common as well.

In 1918 most of the properties owned by the Earl were sold off, and in 1924 the Alton to was sold to a group of businessmen. Since that time Alton's life was quite exciting during the war it became a training center, and then in 1980 a man called John Broome took charge of Alton Towers, this was the man that decided to turn it into a leisure park for the family. It wasn’t long till the park had its own first proper roller coaster, Broome kept adding rides and attractions to the park until 1990 when the Madam Tussauds.


Sources: www.towersalmanac.com

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