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Resort ballroom an irreplaceable icon

Blackpool Tower Ballroom as showcased in the book Irreplaceable: A History Of England In 100 Places
Blackpool Tower Ballroom as showcased in the book Irreplaceable: A History Of England In 100 Places

Blackpool’s beautiful Tower Ballroom has been featured in a new book showcasing some of England’s top historic spots.

Irreplaceable: A History Of England in 100 Places has been compiled by Historic England, through public nominations and a panel of expert judges including Robert Winston and Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson - who was responsible for the Tower Ballroom’s inclusion in the sport and leisure category.

The ballroom’s entry in the book, written by history author Philip Wilkinson, reflects on the venue’s construction at the height of Blackpool’s popularity as a tourist destination for Victorians.

He describes the ballroom, after its redesign by celebrated architect Frank Matcham, as a ‘triumph’, adding: “It was spacious, lined with balconies from which people could watch the dancing, and luxuriously decorated in the most elaborate Baroque style, with ceiling paintings, ornate plasterwork, gilding, and glittering lights.”

Wilkinson goes on to add: “It survives as one of the best interiors by a notable architect and as a symbol of countless Blackpool holidays, made special by the chance to dance in the ballroom’s uniquely opulent and glamorous atmosphere.”

The Tower Ballroom is the only venue listed in Lancashire, with others in the sport and leisure chapter including Aintree Racecourse, Lord’s Cricket Ground, Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury and the All England Club at Wimbledon.

The coffee table tome is out now, priced £20.