The Towers began to fall into disrepair due to the divorce of the Earl and his wife, and in 1924 they were sold to a group of locals who converted some of the space into cafes, restrooms and other recreational spaces for the thousands who still visited the grounds as a tourist attraction in those times. During World War II, the home was used as a training base for cadets, but they continued in their state of neglect well after the war, after having the interiors were removed to be sold. Now, the whole home was abandoned save for the chapel.
In 1980, the park was well on its path to become the theme park we know and love today as it was developed into much more of a leisure park for the family. The Corkscrew Rollercoaster was constructed, and it took its first steps into fulfilling the dreams of adrenaline junkies up and down the country – The Corkscrew Rollercoaster is now the centrepiece at the entrance to the park.
In March 2007, it was bought by Merlin Entertainments, and Alton Towers was firmly cemented as a fun-filled family destination.
These days, you can explore the same areas I did to take these photographs outside the HEX attraction. Being pregnant, I was waiting for Mike and my Mother in law to finish their ride – but I was anything but bored. The small gardens enclosed in the remnants of the Towers themselves are well tended, and you can find some true treasures if you explore some of the conveniently open doors. I slipped into one, and found the chapel – it took my breath away as I had no idea it was less than 100 meters from an attraction. I urge you to have a wander if you ever get the chance, and put some thought into the history behind the centrepiece of the park.. The one constructed of stone, not steel. Thank you to the Alton Towers Almanac who have a very in-depth explanation of the history behind The Towers, available to read here.