Alton, Staffordshire

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The village sign, Alton - - 1600803.jpg
Village sign
Alton is located in Staffordshire
Alton shown within Staffordshire
Population1,226 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSK073422
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townStoke-on-Trent
Postcode districtST10
Dialling code01538
AmbulanceWest Midlands
EU ParliamentWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°58′37″N 1°53′24″W / 52.977°N 1.890°W / 52.977; -1.890Coordinates: 52°58′37″N 1°53′24″W / 52.977°N 1.890°W / 52.977; -1.890

Alton is a village in the county of Staffordshire, England.[2] The village is noted for the theme park Alton Towers, built around the site of Alton Mansion (also named Alton Abbey or Alton Towers), which was owned by the Earls of Shrewsbury[3] and designed by Augustus Pugin.[4] In the 1914 map by Whiston, there were copper works in the village.[2]

The village is located on the eastern side of the Churnet valley.[5] It is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and contains numerous buildings of architectural interest; the Round-House, Alton Castle (now a Catholic youth retreat centre), St Peter's Church, The Malt House, St John's Church and Alton Towers.[6]

Alton Castle is a gothic revival building on the site of a much earlier fortification, situated on the edge of the village ona high cliff with views over the Churnet Valley. It is operated as a Catholic youth retreat centre.

Alton was served by the Alton railway station which was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on 13 July 1849 and closed in the 1960s.[4]

The Chained Oak in Alton has been made famous by the ride Hex – The Legend of the Towers at Alton Towers and the legend involving the Earl of Shrewsbury.[7]

High Street, Alton

The village was home to seven public houses, including 'The Talbot', 'The Bulls Head', ' The Royal Oak', 'The Bridge House', 'The White Hart', 'The Blacksmiths Arms' and 'The Lord Shrewsbury' (formerly The Wild Duck, renamed The Lord Shrewsbury; 'Lord' is an acceptable form of oral address for an Earl). The Talbot and The Lord Shrewsbury closed in 2008.

Alton is also considered to be among the most haunted villages in Staffordshire. In particular, the ghost of a figure wearing a top hat and riding a horse has allegedly been sighted numerous times wandering through the fields around the village. During the lifetime of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, the village was known as Alverton.[8]


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  2. ^ a b Roger J. P. Kain; John Chapman; Richard R. Oliver (1 July 2004). The Enclosure Maps of England and Wales 1595–1918: A Cartographic Analysis and Electronic Catalogue. Cambridge University Press. pp. 118–. ISBN 978-0-521-82771-3.
  3. ^ William West; Frederick Calvert (1834). Picturesque views and description of cities, towns, castles, mansions, and other objects of interesting feature, in Staffordshire, from original designs, taken expressly for this work by Frederick Calvert, engraved on steel dy [sic] Mr. T. Radclyffe, with historical and topographical illustrations. William Emans. pp. 28–.
  4. ^ a b Peter Scott (1 May 1998). A History of the Alton Towers Railway: Including Other Railways & Transport Systems at Alton Towers, Together with the Railways at Lilleshall Hall & Trentham Gardens. Peter Scott. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-1-902368-06-1.
  5. ^ William Adam (1857). The Gem of the Peak; or Matlock Bath and its vicinity; an account of Derby; a tour from Derby to Matlock: ... a review of the geology of Derbyshire; catalogue of minerals and rocks, and of the flora of the high and low Peak. J. & C. Mozley. pp. 238–. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  6. ^ H. C. Darby; I. B. Terrett (2 September 1971). The Domesday Geography of Midland England. Cambridge University Press. pp. 320–. ISBN 978-0-521-08078-1.
  7. ^ Steve Hollyman and Gary Kelsall (2008). "The Legend of the Chained Oak". Alton Towers Heritage. Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  8. ^ Gardeners chronicle & new horticulturist. Haymarket Publishing. 1889. p. 681.

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