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Rivington Terraced Gardens

Type:Parks & Gardens

Rivington Lane, Rivington, BOLTON, Lancashire, BL6 7RZ

Tel: 01942 821444

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Rivington Terraced Gardens

Rivington Terraced Gardens were originally created for soap magnate Lord Leverhulme as a spectacular holiday and weekend retreat for him to relax and entertain in. Situated on the hillside below Rivington Pike, the Gardens were designed by noted landscape designer Thomas Mawson between 1905 - 1922.

Their collaborative vision created a dramatic hillside garden, featuring a heavily-wooded area including a network of interconnecting footpaths that provide the terraces that give the Terraced Gardens their name. There's a man-made ravine and cascade, with several bridges and fords crossing it. The upper section of the park contains the remains of the formal lawns and gardens which surrounded Lord Leverhulme's residences. These include a Japanese Garden and lake, an Italian Garden and lake, and the former Orchestra Lawn. The park also contains many dramatic Grade II listed stone-built structures, including a magnificent 7-arched bridge, a number of Summer Houses and viewing platforms and the haunting building known as the Pigeon Tower.

Today, the original structure of the Gardens remains but ornamental planting has been replaced by woodland and many of the structures have suffered through time and past neglect. It is however, still a magical place of winding footpaths and unexpected surprises, much loved by local people and visitors from across the region. They hold incredible cultural significance and are unique within the region. A hillside garden of such scale and past grandeur has national significance derived from its designer, Thomas Mawson.

At present, £3.4Million in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has been successfully secured by Groundwork as part of a £4 million restoration package supported by United Utilities, the Country Houses Foundation and others to conserve and revitalise the Gardens. 

The focus is on stabilising and consolidating existing decaying structures within the Gardens so that they can be enjoyed by generations to come. Access both to and around the Gardens will also be improved so that more people can visit. The Gardens won’t be restored to their original plans as this would be too costly to do and then maintain. Plus people have grown to enjoy them in their current wooded and mysterious state. Yet structures will be safeguarded and work will focus on allowing the spirit of Mawson’s original design to remain within current context and for generations to come.

All this is being driven forward by a partnership of the Rivington Heritage Trust, Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside and United Utilities.

Opening Times

Open All Year (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)

* The Gardens are open to the public to explore all year round at any time of the day/night.


  • Sub-Regional AwardsPartner of Visit Lancashire Partner of Visit Lancashire 2018


Road Directions

Rivington is to the east of the M61 and the nearest access is at Junction 6. The village is then accessed by car on minor roads from Horwich to the south, Adlington to the west, Anglezarke to the north and Belmont to the east (over the moors).

Public Transport Directions

The nearest places with regular buses are Horwich and Adlington which are served by services between Bolton and Chorley. In addition, there are railway stations at Blackrod and Horwich Parkway giving access from Bolton, Manchester, Chorley and Preston.


Establishment Features

  • Close to woodland
  • Pets Accepted

Parking & Transport

  • Car Parking
  • Close to motorway network
  • Close to rail network
  • Coach parking
  • Coaches Welcome

Provider Preferences

  • Groups accepted
  • In countryside

Specialist Features

  • Pets Welcome


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