The estate that was to become Alton Towers was owned by the Talbot family from the 15th century. The house on the estate once known as Alveton Lodge was originally the home of the estate bailiff. In about 1812-1814 the 15th Earl began the creation of extensive gardens and in 1831 the estate became the principal residence of the 16th Earl who completed the gardens and extended and improved the mansion which he renamed Alton Towers.
The estate was sold after the death of the 20th Earl in 1921 to a private company who opened the park to the public as leisure grounds. The house was requisitioned during World War II and the gardens were closed until 1951, by which time the neglected house had begun to deteriorate. Then the Bagshaws , other members of the family put concrete floors and steps in the main rooms which is one reason the castle is still standing today. In 1980 the breakthrough came with the Corkscrew and from then on everytime a new ride was built , work wuld have to be put into the castle. This still carries on today as the latest project (Mutiny Bay) required work to be done to the towers ruins to get permission to build Mutiny Bay.
As an example of the mixed style of Humphry Repton's gardens, Alton Towers' garden was begun, circa 1814 by the eccentric 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, of whom J. C. Loudon (who was consulted on design features of which there were many) relates that he consulted every artist, only to avoid 'whatever an artist might recommend'.
Alton Towers grew into a collection of gardens: a Swiss Cottage, a Stonehenge, a Dutch garden, a Pagoda Fountain, said to be based on the To Ho pagoda in Canton, Lysicrates' Choragic Monument from Athens (a feature in English gardens since the 1760s), domed glasshouses (originally gilded), even a fairly large Matterhorn as a backing to one of England's earliest Alpine gardens.
Below is list of rides which have
appeared at the park over the
Restoration work to the castle has also being taking place troughtout the 07/08 closed season as can be seen below with restoration to the round tower. Aswell as the round tower restoration , the conservatories are also recieving a makeover with a coffee shop expected toopen in summer 2008. As ever keep looking back as we will let you know more details when we recieve them.