Rivington Terraced Gardens in Lancashire has been awarded £3.4m in lottery funding by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People grant programme for conservation work and repair of its historic structures.
The 45acre gardens, on the edge of the West Pennine Moors, were designed by the first president of the LI, Thomas Mawson, beginning work in 1905. Among its most notable features are an Italian garden, Japanese garden, pigeon tower, ravine, and spectacular arched bridge. Sadly the gardens fell into disrepair following Lord Leverhulme’s death in 1925. In 2004, the BBC’s Countryfile named it one of the top ten lost gardens in the UK.
The Rivington Heritage Trust (RHT) will be working with Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside to carry out conservation work. As it would be too costly to restore the gardens to their original state, they will instead be left in their current, partially overgrown condition with the landscape protected and structures such as the pigeon tower made safe for visitors. Other improvements aimed at engaging members of the public include new information boards, an interactive website and guided tours.
Bryan Homan, chairman of the RHT, said: “There was a real risk these gardens could have been lost forever if the bid had been unsuccessful. This is a real victory for the local community… We hope even more people will now get involved and help us protect these great gardens for future generations to enjoy.”
The gardens are currently Grade II-listed. Historic England’s national landscape adviser, Jenifer White, said that with restoration they could merit being upgraded. Site work is due to start in spring 2017.
To find out more about Rivington Terraced Gardens, visit the trust’s website