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The seaside resort and town of Blackpool is situated in Lancashire on the coast of the Irish Sea. The earliest villages, most of which were Anglo-Saxon settlements which would one day become part of Blackpool, were first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. Some of the places had Viking names, and others had Viking and Anglo-Saxon place names which were joined together.

The first mention of the town was in a church register in the early 17th century. That entry was about the inhabitants of a place called Black Pool. It was a small seaside village with few people living there.

For centuries afterward, Blackpool was simply a hamlet by the sea, until the mid-18th century when it became a popular destination for the upper crust, who believed that bathing in the sea cured diseases.

In 1781, two men built a road to the budding spa, making it easier to get to. During that same year, stage coaches began going from Manchester to Blackpool, and in 1782, stage coaches from Halifax joined them.

In the early part of the 19th century, Henry Banks put up new buildings in an effort to expand the town. When he died, John Cocker, Henry's son-in-law, continued Henry's work. In 1801, the population of the hamlet was less than 500. By 1851, there were more than 2,500 people living there.

In 1879, the town installed some electric lights along the promenade, and the electric tramway opened its doors in 1885. The first opera house was erected in 1889. During the 1890s, an estimated 3 million visitors flocked to Blackpool, many of them staying a week or more. In 1890, the Blackpool Tower Company was founded with the intention of building a replica of the Eiffel Tower on Central Promenade. A former mayor of Blackpool, John. Bickerstaffe, was tapped to head the company, and two local architects, James Maxwell and Charles Tuke, designed the tower and then supervised the laying of the foundation stone in September of 1891. Blackpool Tower opened in May of 1894.

The Tower Circus is situated at the base of the Blackpool Tower, between its four legs. Having opened in May of 1894, it has to this date, not missed a single season. The circus ring may be lowered 1.37 metres into a pool of water for some of the circus acts.

The Fifth Floor contains a family entertainment and events area, and as of September 2019, there is a virtual reality roller coaster ride. The Blackpool Tower Dungeon, part of a chain of Dungeon experiences, opened in 2011. It uses a series of methods which are meant to scare customers and was the first ever to offer dungeon-themed escape rooms.

On September 11, 1940, Germany bombed the area near Blackpool North railway station, killing eight people in nearby homes on Seed Street. There is reason to believe that the reason Blackpool sustained relatively little damage during World War II is that Adolph Hitler wanted the town to remain a vacation destination after the war.

Today, Blackpool is home to the Sandcastle Water Park, which is one of the largest indoor water parks in the United Kingdom.


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