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Alton Towers and Attached Garden Walls and Gatehouse, Farley

Description: Alton Towers and Attached Garden Walls and Gatehouse

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 6 July 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 275084

OS Grid Reference: SK0724943235
OS Grid Coordinates: 407249, 343235
Latitude/Longitude: 52.9864, -1.8935

Location: Farley Lane, Stoke-on-Trent ST10 4DB

Locality: Farley
Local Authority: Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
County: Staffordshire
Country: England
Postcode: ST10 4DB

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Bunbury Hillfort: a Univallate Hillfort South West of Alton Towers, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Explore more of the area around Farley, Staffordshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

SK 0643-0743

12/89 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
3 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 3 tiers of cinquefoil headed lights and crenellated
parapet, the central bay has 5 lights, the 2 side bays each have a
single blocked light, central panel to gable above with 4-centred arch
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 3-storey canted bay window of 3 lights, those to the ground floor
have 4-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 4-centred heads; similar fenestration to
the 2-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 4-centred arch and Y-tracery, pointed first-floor window
of 3 lights with late C14 style tracery, 2 second-floor single-light
windows with cinquefoiled heads under pointed arches; between this
bay and The Banqueting Hall is a 4-storey, 3-bay link with windows
largely devoid of tracery, those to the first floor are pointed, those
to the ground floor have 4-centred arches, those to the second floor
have square heads, those to the third floor have 2 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 2 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 left
incorporating an octagonal turret and terminated by a 2-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: 2-storey, 3-bay range terminated
to the right by a square 3-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 3-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 4-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 3 transomed lights with Y-tracery
under Tudor arches and a parapet with decorated frieze, 3-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 3 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: 2 fireplaces, both have
a square head recessed beneath a 4-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. B.O.E. p.p.
56-57; C.L. June 9 1960, p.p. 1304-1307. 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

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.