An early example of the Mixed Style, Alton Towers became a popular Theme Park in the twentieth century. The garden was begun by the eccentric 15th Earl of Shrewsbury. J.C. Loudon relates that he consulted every artist, only to avoid 'whatever an artist might recommend'. Yet Repton may have been one of the artists and Alton Towers grew under the Reptonian principle that collecting design styles in a garden is no more absurd than collecting diverse pictures in a gallery or books in a library. There is a Swiss Cottage, a Stonehenge, a Dutch garden, a Pagoda Fountain, based on the To Ho pagoda in Canton, a Choragic Monument copied from Athens and many other features. The rides and slides of the modern Theme Park add to the eccentricity of an early nineteenth century nobleman's fancy. Would that he could return. Most of the parkland is now occupied by 'sensational rides and attractions'.
Alton Towers Resort, Alton, Staffordshire, England, ST10 4DB
Mid March to early November. Daily. Open 9.30am. Check website for opening details.
Adult £36.00 (Special Internet Rate £29.00) Senior £18.00 (Special Internet Rate £14.50)