DiCamillo Companion
England

Alton Towers (Alton Abbey) (Alveton Lodge)

  • House & Family History: In 1924 Alton Towers was sold by its ancestral family, the earls of Shrewsbury, to a group of local businessmen who formed Alton Towers Ltd. and began to restore the gardens as a tourist attraction. Beginning in the 1950s more and more attractions were added to the Park, including a fairground. In April 1980 it formally became a theme park in the Disney mold; in 1990 Alton Towers was acquired for £60 million by The Tussauds Group (today Merlin Entertainments Group).

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Robert Abraham created conservatories and garden buildings for the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury.

  • Architect: Thomas Allason

    Designed: Additions to House, garden buildings for 15th Earl

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    Architect: Robert Abraham

    Designed: Conservatories, garden buildings for 15th Earl

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    Architect: William Hollins

    Date: Circa 1813-17
    Designed: Work for 15th Earl of Shrewsbury

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    Architect: Thomas Hopper

    Date: Circa 1813
    Designed: Work for 15th Earl of Shrewsbury

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    Architect: John Buonarotti Papworth

    Date: 1818-22
    Designed: Bridge of Seven Arches, Greek and Gothic temples, park entrance, garden seats, and other follies, all for 16th Earl of Shrewsbury.

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    Architect: James Wyatt

    Date: 1811-13
    Designed: Remodeling for 15th Earl of Shrewsbury
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin

    Date: 1837
    Designed: Additions in the Gothic style for the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 127, 1855.

    John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. IV, 1821.

    Country Life: CXXVII, 1304, 1960.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Grade I

  • "Who Do You Think You Are?" (2012 - BBC TV series, episode 9.7, "William Roache," whose grandmother ran the house restaurant in the 1920s and 1930s).
  • Past Seat of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Theobald de Verdon, 13th century. Thomas, Lord Furnival, 14th century? SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: John Talbot, 10th Earl of Shrewsbury and 10th Earl of Waterford, 17th century; Talbot family here from the 16th century until the 1920s.

    Current Ownership Type: Corporation

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

    Ownership Details: Owned by Nick Leslau's Prestbury Group; leased to The Tussauds Group, which operates it as an amusement park. Tussauds is owned by Merlin Entertainments.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 08712-223-330

    Website: http://www.altontowers.com

    Historic Houses Member: No