Lever Park, Rivington, Chorley, England
Record Id: 2057
The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):
Lever Park was one of a series of commissions carried out by Thomas Hayton Mawson (1861-1933) for the industrialist and philanthropist Lord Leverhulme. The site was formed from land belonging to the Manor of Rivington which was owned from 1212 until 1605 by the Pilkington family. After several changes of ownership the Hall and Manor of Rivington were offered to Liverpool Corporation in 1899 because they formed part of the gathering grounds for two reservoirs on the western side of the site which were built in the 1850s. The Corporation declined the offer and the site was bought by Lever. In 1901 he offered to donate around 160 hectares of the land to Bolton Corporation for a public park, keeping the remaining land on the eastern side of the site for his own house and gardens. This site, called Rivington Gardens (see description of this site elsewhere in the Register), was also laid out to designs by Mawson.
In 1902 Liverpool Corporation sought to acquire the land through an Act of Parliament. Lever challenged this legislation and the case was settled by a Select Committee of the House of Commons which decided to exclude the area around Lever's dwelling and some of the village properties, but to allow the purchase of the remainder providing that it was maintained as a park for the benefit of the people of Bolton and the public generally. Lever laid out the park at his own expense and offered to maintain it during his lifetime. The park was opened in 1904 and another ceremony was held in 1911 to celebrate the completion of most of the work. In 1974 it passed to the North West Water Authority following local government reorganisation and it has continued to be maintained as a public park.
People associated with this site
Architect: James Lomax-Simpson (born 1882 died 1976)
Designer: Thomas Hayton Mawson (born 05/05/1861 died 14/11/1933)