Eerie photos show the remains of Camelot theme park as demolition of the abandoned site gets underway.
The theme park was a favourite among Merseyside families back in the day, thanks to its accessible location in Lancashire.
But after closing in November 2012 due to declining visitor numbers, it has been left to rot, with many of its attractions being reclaimed by nature.
Bulldozers and diggers have now been pictured at the former theme park and demolition work is well underway.
The park’s famous castle entrance is now just a pile of bricks, while rides including the Pendragon’s plunge await demolition, Lancs Live reports.
Inspired by the legend of Camelot, the once popular park first opened its doors in 1983.
The medieval style rides included the Knightmare and the Whirlwind and of course the Excalibur – the famous ‘pirate ship’ style attraction which went upside down, even if you were slightly under the height limit.
While other rides included Dragon Flyer, Caterpillar Capers, The Galleon, and Pendragon’s Plunge.
But Camelot was so much more than just the rides – it was a full on experience transporting us back to Medieval times.
Families spent years being entertained by live jousting tournaments which saw Camelot’s knights, including King Arthur perform in the Avalon Arena.
While, children and the young at heart would be mesmerised and entertained by Merlin’s Magic Shows and the fantastic Birds of Prey Shows.
So popular was Camelot that even TV show Sooty & Co came to the park.-Sooty, Sweep, Sue and presenter Matthew Corbett filmed an episode of the hit show in 1994 which saw the pals enjoy the park all to themselves.
In 1986, the park was taken over by the Granada Group and operated by them alongside its now defunct sister parks American Adventure and Granada Studios Tour.
Enter your postcode for the latest coronavirus cases in your area
In June 1998, the park was subject to a management buyout and by 2005 Camelot’s attendance was only 336,204 visitors a year.
In February 2009 Prime Resorts announced that the park was in receivership, and would not reopen for the season of 2009.
The theme park was purchased by Story Group, a construction company based in Carlisle and leased to Knight’s Leisure who ran it until it closed suddenly in 2012.
Despite the initial magic and popularity of Camelot, that had all faded by 2012, with bad weather and events such as the London 2012 Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee blamed for declining visitor numbers.
Sign up for a new-look Echo newsletter
It’s never been more important to stay in touch with the news, so subscribe now to the Liverpool Echo newsletter. Twice a day, seven days a week, we’ll deliver the biggest stories straight to your inbox.
We’ll also send special breaking news emails too for the latest stories that matter. You won’t miss a thing.
How do I sign up?
It’s free, easy and takes no time at all.
- First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre.
- Once you’re there, put your email address where it says at the top, then click on the Echo Daily News button. There are other newsletters available too if you want them as well.
- When you’ve made your choice, press the Save Changes button.
And it’s been a sad state of affairs ever since with the park being left to fall apart – often being targeted by arsonists and vandals.
Some rollercoasters such as Whirlwind were sold and relocated to Skyline Park in Germany, but others remained in the abandoned park.
Knightmare, which could be seen from the M6 at Charnock Richard Services, remained for years but was finally dismantled in February 2020.
In August 2014, an application to build 420 houses on the site by owners Story Group was unanimously rejected by Chorley Council, with 261 public objections, as the development was not permissible within the Green Belt.
In August 2016, a second application to build two hundred houses on the site was announced. In March 2018, plans for 195 homes at the site were scrapped.
It is understood that demolition work has begun due to fears over some “unstable” structures at the park.
Story Homes is said to still be considering what options it has for the site.