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Alton Towers

Alton Towers

ST10 4DB

tel: 08705 204060

Area: Staffordshire
Show Map Location:
Overview Map (30 Km)
Detailed Map (1.5 Km)

Alton Towers -- Staffordshire
Visitor Information

Email: Liz.Greenwood //at//
Garden Website:
Group Website:

Alton Towers
Last Update*  16-02-2014

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 Opening Days and Hours

NOTE for 2015: Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open

22nd March - 9th November 2014; 10am - 5pm

Parties / Coaches: Yes
Groups / Coaches need Appointment: No

House Open for Viewing: Yes
Partly open.

National Garden Scheme days: No
Best Times of Year to Visit:
To see:
Rockeries, rhododendrons, azaleas
 Admission Prices
One-day, Two-day, School, Season tickets etc. see own website.
 Onsite Facilities
Parking: Yes
Lavatories: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Shop: Yes
Plants for Sale: No
Lunches: Yes
Teas: Yes
Light Refreshment: Yes
Picnics: Yes
Dogs Allowed: No
On Lead only: No
Special Events: No
Other Facilities & Comments:
Partial disabled access. Guide dogs only.
Disabled information plus mobility and walking aids
 Garden Features & Events
Theme park rides. English Heritage/Visit Scotland Garden Grade: I
National Collection:
 Description of Garden
Designer: Thomas Allason and Robert Abrahams
Alton Towers, the UK's number one theme park, consists of 500 acres of superbly landscaped grounds with original and spectacular gardens complementing the extraordinary collection of rides and entertainments. Leaving the enormously popular amusements aside there is much for the visitor to enjoy in the extravagant gardens created by the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury and his nephew John Talbot, the 16th Earl, in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The amazing Chinese Pagoda Fountain, the Bath Fountain with its
pond containing the figure of Triton blowing water through a conch
shell, the gilded domes, plate glass and galvanised iron structure of
the enormous Grand Conservatories contrast with the quaint thatched
Swiss Cottage and the restful Le Refuge. Scattered throughout the
gardens is a fine collection of statuary, much of it with classical
allusions designed to add to the cultural and artistic ambience.

The Dutch Gardens which were created for John Talbot in the late 19th century complete the formal aspect of the gardens and it is hoped that the water flow into the lion fountain at the rear of these gardens will again be fed naturally from the River Churnet.
 History of Garden
Alton Towers was the site of eighth century fortress held by Ceolred, King of Mercia. The castle on the site was occupied by the Earl of Shrewsbury from 1412, when Lady Ankarat de Verdun married Sir John Talbot, and it remained in the Talbot family's ownership until the 1920s.

The 15th Earl, Charles Talbot, who was born in 1753, transformed the landscape surrounding the Towers. He employed hundreds of artisans, mechanics and labourers under the direction of the garden architects, Thomas Allason and Robert Abrahams, to build his dream, which was to create a completely original garden landscape. The lakes, pools and terraces were skillfully dug out to allow the Chinese Pagoda Fountain to throw water up to 90 feet high above the tree tops. The 300 feet long Grand Conservatories were designed by Abrahams for him and he had Le Refuge built as a place of rest and refreshment. He even built the Swiss Cottage for a blind Welsh harpist, whom he employed to fill the gardens with music. A cenotaph to Charles Talbot, who died in 1827, stands at the entrance to the gardens in the form of a copy of the famous Choragic Temple of Lysiscrates (Athens 344 BC). It houses a marble bust of him with the inscription "He Made the Desert Smile".

His nephew John, who succeeded him, was another flamboyant character and continued his works to complete the formal gardens near the Towers and the valley gardens beyond.
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*Information Updates
We directly contact each garden for update information every year in January.

The garden information above was last updated on 16-02-2014

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0390_altonTowers.jpg - Alton Towers (Staffordshire)