Did you know about Blackpool Tower

September 20th, 2011

The History of Blackpool Tower
     

  • It’s a Grade 1 listed building
  • It was opened to the public on 14 May 1894
  • It’s Blackpool’s top attraction
  • It rises to 158m (518 ft 9 inches) and there is a flagpole at the top of the Tower
  • It cost approximately £290,000 for the design and construction of the tower and buildings
  • The Tower is made of; five million bricks, 2,500 tonnes of iron, 93 tonnes of cast steel
  • Inspired by the Eiffel Tower, Paris the Tower was originally built as a gentleman’s folly
  • It’s a member of the World Federation of Great Towers
  • The Tower can be seen from most places within a 30-mile (48 km) radius including;  Barrow-in-Furness, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and Southport
  • There are 563 steps from the roof of the tower building to the top of the tower which the maintenance teams use for the structure’s upkeep
  • If the wind speed exceeds 72 km/h (45 mph) the top of the tower is closed as a safety precaution
Did you know?
     

  • The idea for the Tower came when Blackpool Mayor John Bickerstaffe returned from the Great Paris Exhibition in 1889.  He was so impressed by the Eiffel Tower, he commissioned the design of a new landmark for the town
  • Upon his return the Mayor set up a committee of businessmen to raise the funds to build a similar design in the town
  • He invested £2,000 of his own money to form, with other local investors, the Blackpool Tower Company Limited which was registered on 19 February 1891
  • Two Lancashire architects namely, James Maxwell and Charles Tuke, designed the Tower
  • Together, they oversaw the laying of its foundation stone, on 29 September 1891 with a time capsule buried beneath it, but sadly both died before it opened
  • The cast steel and iron are distributed in such a way that if it did ever collapse it would fall into the sea
  • Unlike the Eiffel Tower, Blackpool Tower is not free-standing. Its base is hidden by the building which houses Blackpool Tower Circus, the ballroom and will be home to all the new Merlin attractions
  • The Tower was not painted properly during the first thirty years and became corroded – there were even talks of demolishing it. However, it was decided to rebuild it instead.  During 1921 and 1924 all the steelwork in the structure was replaced and renewed
  • In 1949 a post box was opened at the top of the Tower
  • The hydraulic lifts to the top of the Tower were replaced in 1956-57 and the winding-gear replaced by electric. The lifts and winding gear were again replaced in 1992
  • The top of the Tower was painted silver in 1977 as part of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee celebrations
  • The Tower is usually painted in dark red, except for its centenary year in 1994 when it was painted gold by abseiling painters
  • The first “Walk of Faith” glass floor panel was opened in 1998 at the top of the Tower featuring two sheets of laminated glass, two inches thick weighing half a tonne
  • The Tower continued to be owned by the Bickerstaffe family until 1964, when the Blackpool Tower Company was sold to EMI
  • Since then, it has been owned by Trust House Forte, First Leisure and Leisure Parcs Ltd, owned by Trevor Hemmings and in 2010 transferred into public ownership for the first time, having been purchased by Blackpool Council
  • To find out more about Blackpool Tower and book tickets click here
The History of Blackpool Tower

It’s a Grade 1 listed building
It was opened to the public on 14 May 1894
It’s Blackpool’s top attraction
It rises to 158m (518 ft 9 inches) and there is a flagpole at the top of the Tower
It cost approximately £290,000 for the design and construction of the tower and buildings
The Tower is made of; five million bricks, 2,500 tonnes of iron, 93 tonnes of cast steel

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