Plans for historic Rivington gardens on show

Rivington's Terraced Gardens

Rivington's Terraced Gardens

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Proposals to preserve a historic landmark in a £4m project are being put on display.

People can find out more about the plans for Rivington’s Terraced Gardens at two drop-in sessions.

“Sadly, many of the buildings were allowed to decay as soon as Lord Leverhulme died, almost 100 years ago, and are too dangerous at the moment to allow people to get close to them, but this work could change that and preserve them for generations to come.”

Bryan Homan

They will be held on Sunday in the information centre at the bottom barn in Rivington and near Market Walk, in Chorley town centre, on Tuesday. Both sessions run from 10am to 5pm.

The proposals could see buildings like the Pigeon Tower repaired and occasionally opened to the public for the first time in decades.

Improved information boards, interactive websites and guided tours could help visitors understand the historical significance of the gardens which soap magnate Lord Leverhulme built in the early 1900s.

Rivington Heritage Trust, the organisation leading the plans, will submit a bid for lottery funding at the beginning of September.

The Heritage Lottery Fund, which has supported the development of the bid so far, will decide later this year whether to give the green light to the improvements to the area, known locally as the Chinese Gardens.

Bryan Homan, chairman of the trust, said: “We want people to come along to these two sessions and get a really clear idea of what we are trying to achieve and offer their feedback.

“Sadly, many of the buildings were allowed to decay as soon as Lord Leverhulme died, almost 100 years ago, and are too dangerous at the moment to allow people to get close to them, but this work could change that and preserve them for generations to come.”

He added: “This is a golden opportunity to secure the future of the Terraced Gardens and we want everyone to have their say.”

The scheme could see work take place on many buildings, including the summer houses, which are currently fenced off for safety reasons inside and climb up the steps onto the roofs.

Sensitive repair and conservation work could take place on the Pigeon Tower.

Ben Williams, project manager at Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside, which is working alongside Rivington Heritage Trust, said: “We’ve put in a huge amount of work over the past three years to allow people to tell us what they want for the gardens and we’re now able to present back what this is looking like in practice, before we finalise the plans and submit them to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“We are hoping to get as many people as possible to visit us across the two sessions.”