Great Drawing Room, Alton Towers

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Date:1889 - 1891 (c.)

Description:Interior view of the Great Drawing Room, on the left is the arch connecting the Long Gallery. The furniture dates from the Chetwynd-Talbot family's attempts to re-furnish the house after the great sale of 1857.

Alton Towers was the home of the Talbot family, Earls of Shrewsbury. It was built between about 1810 and 1852.

The 15th Earl began adapting an existing 16th or 17th century house, Alveton (Alton) Lodge, in about 1810. A number of architects were involved, including Thomas Hopper, William Hollis and Thomas Allason. The new enlarged house was known as Alton Abbey by the 1820s.

The 16th Earl succeeded in 1827, and over the next 25 years greatly expanded the house which became known as Alton Towers. His architects included Thomas Fradgley of Uttoxeter, Joseph Potter and A.W.N. Pugin. After the Earl's death in 1852 a great sale of the conents took place in 1857. The Chetwynd-Talbots lived at the house and partially refurnished it until they left in 1924, and another sale followed. A group of local businessmen bought it and developed it as a tourist attraction. During the Second World War, until 1951, it was occupied by the Army as an Officer Cadet Training Unit. In 1952 all the remaining fixtures and fittings were stripped and sold, leaving the house in a semi-derelict condition.

In 1990 the Tussauds Group purchased the house and grounds and began developing it into the hugely successful Adventure Theme Park it is now. Some of the interiors are gradually being restored.


The timeline shows resources around this location over a number of years.

Alton Towers
Alton Towers

An engraving of Alton Towers published in the 'Illustrated London News' in 1844. Alton ...

Group at Alton Towers
Group at Alton Towers

A group of people, possibly the Talbot family with friends or servants, pictured ...

The Great Dining Room, Alton Towers
The Great Dining Room, Alton Towers

Interior view of the Great Dining Room showing furniture installed by the Chetwynd-Talbot ...

Alton Towers  'Views round the Town'
Alton Towers 'Views round the Town'

A novelty postcard which shows four different views of Alton Towers by moving a ...

Whit Monday outing to Alton Towers
Whit Monday outing to Alton Towers

Crowds on the lawn outside the north front of Alton Towers. Alton Towers was ...

Alton Towers
Alton Towers

Alton Towers was the home of the Talbot family, Earls of Shrewsbury. It was built ...

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Image courtesy of: Staffordshire Museum Service

Donor ref:P83.007.0006 (37/22705)

Source: Staffordshire Museum Service

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