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The legend of the Chained Oak
The Alton Towers’ attraction 'HEX The Legend of the Towers' is based on the story of the nearby Chained Oak. It is one of Staffordshire’s great legends.
For the purposes of the ride at Alton Towers, the original legend has actually been altered.
And, yes, the tree really does exist - but you won’t find much information about it in any local history book or guide.
The only way you'll find out about the true legend and locate the actual tree is by asking the locals of Alton village.
The story goes something like this....
On an autumn night in 1821, The Earl of Shrewsbury was returning to his home, Alton Towers, when, mysteriously an old man appeared in the road. The coach stopped to find why he was there, and the man begged for the charity of a coin.
The Earl cruelly dismissed him, so the old man placed a curse on him. The old man croaked: "For every branch on the Old Oak Tree here that falls... a member of the Earl’s family will die."
The Earl dismissed him and carried on his way...But that night, a storm brewed up, and a single branch from the old oak tree broke and fell.
Later that very same night, a member of the Earl’s family suddenly, and mysteriously died.
The next day, the Earl ordered his servants to chain every branch together to prevent other branches from falling.
Fact or fiction?
True or false?
So... is the legend real? Did the Earl really order the oak chained up? Or did later generations chain it up in a spirit of fun and mischief?
Or.... and here's the big one... is the tree really cursed?
last updated: 23/12/2009 at 07:49
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