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Latitude: 52.9864 / 52°59'11"N
Longitude: -1.8935 / 1°53'36"W
OS Eastings: 407249
OS Northings: 343235
OS Grid: SK072432
Mapcode National: GBR 37K.N4C
Mapcode Global: WHBD4.W6JD
Plus Code: 9C4WX4P4+HJ
Entry Name: Alton Towers and attached garden walls and gatehouse
Listing Date: 6 July 1951
Last Amended: 17 November 1986
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1374685
English Heritage Legacy ID: 275084
Also known as: seat of the Earl of Shrewsbury in 1814
New Alton Castle
Alton Towers Castle
ID on this website: 101374685
Location: Farley, Staffordshire Moorlands, Staffordshire, ST10
District: Staffordshire Moorlands
Civil Parish: Farley
Built-Up Area: Alton Park
Traditional County: Staffordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire
Church of England Parish: Alton St Peter
Church of England Diocese: Lichfield
Alton Towers and attached garden walls and gatehouse
(formerly listed as Alton Towers)
Country house, walls and gatehouse. Circa 1810 to circa 1840. The architects included James Wyatt, Robert Abraham, Thomas Allison, Thomas Fradgley, William Hollins, Thomas Hopper and Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, for the fifteenth and sixteenth Earls of Shrewsbury.
Ashlar with edged herringbone tooling; slate roofs; ashlar stacks. Castellated Gothic style; asymmetrical plan, the principal alignment is north-west/south-east with the entrance at the south-east angle leading into a range of buildings 460 feet long, these are The Armoury to the south-east, The Talbot Gallery to the north-west and a nearly central Octagon linking the two; this range is linked to the main domestic block which lies to the north-east by a conservatory leading from The Octagon and by an L-shaped service block leading from the Talbot Gallery, the chapel projects south-eastwards from the main domestic block; a wall is attached to the north-east corners of the main domestic block and of The Armoury and encloses the north-east and south-east sides of a garden, the other sides being enclosed by the house; the gatehouse is at the north-east corner of this garden.
North-east front: mainly three storeys with crenellated parapet; projecting central block with set-back wings to left and right. Central block: the centrepiece is the gable end of The Banqueting Hall by Pugin which is flanked by stepped corner buttresses ending in octagonal caps with spirelets; canted oriel window comprising three tiers of cinquefoil headed lights and crenellated parapet, the central bay has five lights, the two side bays each have a single blocked light, central panel to gable above with four-centred beneath a square head bearing the Talbot arms and flanked by windows with similar but slightly lower heads. This arrangement has a common stepped hood mould; to the left hand side of the central block is a three-storey canted bay window of three lights, those to the ground floor have four-centred heads and are blocked, those to the first floor have pointed heads, transoms and reticulated tracery, cross windows to second floor, the upper lights have four-centred heads; similar fenestration to the two-bay link between the bay window and The Banqueting Hall, except the first floor windows which have square heads; to the right hand side of the central block is a slightly projecting bay, the ground-floor window has a four-centred arch and Y-tracery, pointed first-floor window of three lights with late C14 style tracery, two second-floor single-light windows with cinquefoiled heads under pointed arches; between this bay and The Banqueting Hall is a four-storey, three-bay link with windows largely devoid of tracery, those to the first floor are pointed, those to the ground floor have four-centred arches, those to the second floor have square heads, those to the third floor have two cinquefoil arched lights under a square head.
Right hand block: 2:4 bays divided by an octagonal turret and terminated to the right by a diagonally placed corner tower; mainly square headed windows, those to the first and second floors of the two left hand bays are pointed with Y-tracery. Left hand block: 3:1 bays; mainly square-headed windows, the chapel is set back to the left. Attached crenellated garden wall to the incorporating an octagonal turret and terminated by a two storey gatehouse with low Tudor arch carriageway and crenellated parapet with projecting machicolations; in front of the wall is a dry moat itself enclosed by a low attached wall.
Entrance front: two storey, three bay range terminated to the right by a square three storey entrance tower with angle buttresses and to the left by an octagonal tower, continued to the left as a wall and terminated by a square three storey tower with octagonal turret to the left hand corner; attached garden wall to the right of the entrance tower; crenellated parapets, those to the towers have psuedo-machicolation; mainly square-headed windows with trefoil arched lights. Entrance tower: a flight of steps with flanking Talbot hound statues bearing shields, and solid balustrade, leads to a tall four-centred arch with Talbot arms over.
The Chapel: the east end has octagonal corner turrets with fishscale patterned stone domes of ogee shape capped by a finial, ground floor canted bay window of three transomed lights with Y-tracery under Tudor arches and a parapet with decorated frieze, three-light first floor window with Perpendicular tracery under a square head; the gable has a decorative frieze and canopied niche containing a statue; square bell tower of three stages at the south-west corner, the second stage has blind elongated arcading, heavily decorated third stage and openwork parapet with gabled corner pinnacles.
Interior: The Armoury roof has an arch braced collar supporting a central moulded plate, queen struts above the collar. The Banqueting Hall: two fireplaces, both have a square head recessed beneath a four-centred arch panel bearing the Talbot arms: the north bay window has stained glass by Hardman; the roof has arch braced collars with king-posts over, openwork panels between collars and principals, curved wind-braces, one pair of purlins and ridge piece, central louvre, painted green and gold. Chapel: above the present low ceiling the timber roof is supported on corbels with figures of kneeling angels; stained glass by Willement.
This item forms part of the important garden layout at Alton Towers (q.v.) which is included at Grade I on the HBMC Gardens Register.
Listing NGR: SK0724943235
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