Alton, Staffordshire, England, United KingdomAlton Towers sits about a two-hour drive south of Manchester. It has a tremendous amount of history that can be traced back to 2,000 years ago when there was a fort on the property. A castle was built on the land in the 11th century. Charles Talbot, who held the title of the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, started developing the property in 1801. He built a massive home and created one of the largest formal gardens in the country by planting over 13,000 trees, erecting a huge Pagoda fountain, and creating several beautiful ponds. These gardens still exist in the middle of the park today. The 16th Earl of Shrewsbury was Charles' nephew John Talbet. He moved into the property and renamed it Alton Towers in the 1830s. The 20th Earl of Shrewsbury, also named Charles Talbot, founded the Talbot automotive manufacturing company, also called Clément-Talbot, but ended up selling the property to local businessmen in 1924. Alton Towers was used by the War Office during World War II, but the main house was renovated and rides were added in the 1960s and 1970s in order to make the site a visitor destination. Since the 1970s, the amusement park has continued to expand, and it has been owned by several different groups. It was purchased by The Tussauds Group in 1990, and that organization was purchased by the British-based Merlin Entertainments company in 2007.
Eight coasters, all steel, have left Alton Towers:
Galactica (formerly Air)
Octonauts Rollercoaster Adventure
Rita (formerly Rita - Queen of Speed)
Spinball Whizzer (formerly Sonic Spinball)
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