Use Places & People to search over 6,600 parks and gardens in the UK and 2,100 biographies of people associated with them. Image location: Bedgebury National Pinetum

Learn about the rich heritage of parks and gardens in Topics.
Image location: Powis Castle

Follow News & Events, updated regularly with the latest information affecting historic parks and gardens. Image location: Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Visit the Schools for ideas and activities to encourage the interest of children and young people in their local parks. Image location: Trentham

Join us as a volunteer and Research & Record historic parks and gardens in your area.
Image location: Cirencester Abbey

View the Illustrated Glossary which provides definitions and accompanying images for terms and concepts associated with historic parks and gardens. Image location: Pannett Park

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)




garden terrace


ornamental bridge