The Blackpool Tower is one of the most famous and easily recognised landmarks in the UK. It’s visible from so far away, giving drivers along the motorway the reassurance that they are firmly in the North.
But it’s not just a glorious sight to see as you approach the iconic seaside town, it’s also a tourist attraction that brings thousands of visitors a year to the seaside town. There’s so much to do there that you can spend an entire day inside and not be bored for one minute.
Even if you love it, we bet there’s a fair few things that you didn’t know about this beloved landmark. Let us open your eyes...
- An ode to the Eiffel
If you’ve ever wondered why The Blackpool Tower looks so familiar, it’s because it was modelled after the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Mayor of Blackpool, John Bickerstaffe, attended the Great Paris Exhibition in 1889 and was so impressed by the structure that he commissioned The Blackpool Tower to be built upon his return.
In fact, he loved it so much that he invested £2,000 of his own money into the construction!
- Wobbly when windy
Rather than fight against weather conditions, the most advanced modern buildings will try to move with the elements - take the “earthquake-proof” buildings in Japan for example - but The Blackpool Tower was miles ahead of its time. In heavy winds, which are common at the seaside, The BlackpoolTower will gently sway along with it.
- Treasure hunt
On September 29th 1981, The Blackpool Tower’s foundation stone was laid with a time capsule buried underneath it.
- Get in the sea
Given The Blackpool Tower’s height, the number of surrounding buildings and the fact that it is built with 2,500 tonnes of iron and 5 million bricks, there were concerns about safety if it were to collapse. But, thanks to a unique design and some clever construction, in the unlikely event that The Blackpool Tower ever did fall down, it would fall into the sea rather than the buildings around it.
- Quite a height
The Tower is 518 feet and 9 inches tall. On a clear day The Blackpool Tower can even be seen from as far away as Wales and the Lake District.
- Don’t look down
The infamous ‘walk of faith’ at the top of The Blackpool Tower first opened nearly 20 years ago in 1998. It was originally made of two sheets of laminated glass, two inches thick and weighed half a tonne.
Don’t worry the newly constructed glass floor and window which came following Merlin’s 10-month multimillion-pound refurbishment in 2011 can now hold the weight of two elephants, so no need to be scared!
- Welcome to The Blackpool Tower Ballroom
The Blackpool Tower Ballroom opened in 1899 was designed by the Victorian architect Frank Matcham and it really is a tremendous sight. It measures 120 by 102 feet and was made with more than 30,600 separate planks of oak, mahogany and walnut wood.
- 15 minutes of fame
You probably already know that dozens of famous faces descend on The Blackpool Tower every year when Strictly Come Dancing rolls into town, but did you know that The Blackpool Tower has also seen other celebs over the years?
Beloved British band Take That, Duke Ellington and Cleo Lane are among some of the famous acts that have performed here. Another well-known, but fictional, face is King Kong, a picture of whom was attached to the outside of The Blackpool Tower in 1894.
It’s also been seen in numerous films like ‘Dick Barton Strikes Back’ in 1974, and even popped up in the background of the music video to ‘Here With Me’ by The Killers.