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[Lever Park entrance between two columns]

126k JPEG. Rivington Pike Tower can be seen on the horizon. February 1996.

Rivington, in Lancashire, lies to the north of Horwich and is reached from Lever Park Avenue. The River Douglas starts in Rivington, heading south through Wigan, marking the boundary between Horwich and Rivington. An early form if its name "Ruhwinton" could be derived from a rough farm steading, or "Rowenton", the settlement of the mountain ash. Bronze age burial sites have been found on several hilltops, including Winter Hill. Above Rivington, are the Terraced Gardens, all that now remains of the former house and estate of Lord Leverhulme.

The entrance to Lever Park Avenue is at a place called Scholes Bank in Horwich.

The picture above shows the entrance to Lever Park Avenue, which leads into Rivington lane. The left hand pillar reads: LEVER PARK, THE GIFT OF WILLIAM HESKETH LEVER 1ST VISCOUNT LEVERHULME BORN AT 6 WOOD STREET, BOLTON SEPTEMBER 19TH 1861. DIED AT HAMPSTEAD, LONDON MAY 7TH 1925.


The actual act of parliament was passed on May 30th 1902 after a long battle which decided that Rivington Park could be a public park, but Liverpool Corporation, who's water it supplied, were to be responsible for it.

Several mills were built to make use of the running water, handloom weaving and a number of farms established. Liverpool Corporation Waterworks built filter beds on the site, and used the reservoir to supply drinking water from 1857.

Great House Barn

[Great House Barn with large slanting roof]

54k JPEG Shows the shape of the roof. February 1996.

During 1941-45, this barn was apparently used by units of the regular army and the TA. If you can help fill in the details of this, please email me. You may also like to contact Len, who can be emailed on annlen@annlen.freeserve.co.uk.

[Barn seen over the road]

77k JPEG from the other side February 1996.

Great House Barn just off Rivington Lane, the design is Scandinavian, and dates speculated are between 811 A.D. and 1300 A.D. with major renovation in 1702. The roof is spectacular with an internal oak framework. Today it contains a tourist information centre and a cafe.

[Interior roof of Great House Barn]

134k JPEG Showing internal roof structure.

Rivington Hall Barn

[Rivington Hall Barn]

114k. Sunday motorbikers meeting at the barn, 1995.

This is similar to the Great House Barn in construction probably dated around the same time, but much larger, 32m (105 feet) long, 17m (57 feet) wide and 7m (23 feet) high at the centre of the roof. Restoration of this building has taken place this century. On Sundays this is a popular meeting place for local motorcyclists, and a craft fair is held inside the barn. It is also licensed to sell alcohol, and frequently hosts dances and concerts in the evenings.

[Interior roof of Rivington Hall Barn]

120k JPEG Showing internal roof structure.

The stone bases and crucks supporting the roof, and some of the purlins are part of the original construction, the rest of the barn dating from a rebuild in the early 1700's. They were used originally to shelter animals and feed, and later to store hay.

Internal construction uses a technique called Cruck, where two similar pieces of timber are connected in pairs with a tie beam. The crucks sit on stone bases which protect the wood from the damp of the ground. Purlins, the beams of wood running the length of the building support the stone flag roof, the walls also being stone. Wooden pegs pushed into mortice holes are used to secure the timers, iron was more useful in weapons or tools than nails.

Lever Park was bought in 1900 by Mr. William Hesketh Lever (1851 - 1925), first Viscount Leverhulme. Shortly after buying the Rivington estate with around 400 acres of land, he donated much of it to the people of Bolton.

Above the banks of the Rivington Reservoir is a replica of Liverpool Castle. Lever also constructed a small zoo and Terraced Gardens. The zoo is now no longer in existence, the gardens overgrown.

[Castle ruin seen over reservoir]

82k JPEG. Taken across the reservoir which is very low due to low rainfall. 1995.

This reduced scale replica of Liverpool Castle was built by Lever between 1912 and 1925, and not completed. The original Liverpool Castle built in 1235 was demolished in 1725 after being badly damaged during the Civil War 1642 - 1650, this copy built as a ruin, to recreate a period in Liverpool's history.

[castle ruins in trees]

46k GIF 98k JPEG Liverpool Castle copy at Rivington c1996

These ruins are accessible from the Rivington estate.

Rivington is a popular walking area, and Rivington Pike and Terraced Gardens are the areas to walk in.

[Stepped overflow with running water]

90k JPEG Overflow from the Yarrow Reservoir circa 1985

This overflow is currently dry!

[carved stone head]

20k GIF 81k JPEG Found in Yarrow, displayed in lower barn 1996

This was found when the water level was very low in the Yarrow. A similar head is carved and remains overlooking the reservoir.

Rockhaven - Brownlow Castle


53k GIF 382k JPEG Copyright Paul Lacey

Built in 1820 by a Bolton attorney, Richard Brownlow, who later became a recluse in this building which dominated the Horwich skyline. It was part of the estate which Lord Leverhulme bought in 1899 after Brownlow's death. It was demolished in 1942 as its prominence was apparently used by German bombers during the Second World War as a fixing point for the railworks at Horwich.

There is another page about Rivington at http://www.angelfire.com/in/rivington/ DISCLAIMER: Errors and Omissions Excepted.

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