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The Chained Oak

The Legend of the Chained Oak

Nestled within Dimmingsdale, on the edge of the valley, near Alton Towers, is a large, extremely old Oak tree smothered with chains.

Legend has it that in the 1830’s a beggar woman asked the Earl of Shrewsbury for some money, the Earl was in his coach, following Earl’s Drive through Dimmingsdale into Barbury Gutter, to enter the Alton Towers Estate. He refused and told his driver to move on, so she put a curse on him. For every branch that fell off this magnificent Oak, a member of the Earls family would die. Later a branch did fall off the tree and member of the Earls family died. Immediately the Earl of Shrewsbury had chains wrapped around the branches to stop any more branches falling off.

This local legend forms the basis of the ride “Hex” at the Alton Towers Resort.

Click here for a map of Dimmingsdale to navigate to the Chained Oak.

To find out more about the amazing history of Dimmingsdale and the wider Churnet Valley, visit our Dimmingsdale page.

*When visiting this local legend, please treat the ancient oak with respect to protect and preserve it for future generations. This tree is a key part of Churnet Valley & Alton heritage. Disrespectful behaviour will cause rangers to ask individuals to leave the site.