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Loggia, summerhouse and associated staircases in Rivington Gardens at SD 6392 1431

A Grade II Listed Building in Rivington, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6242 / 53°37'27"N

Longitude: -2.5471 / 2°32'49"W

OS Eastings: 363914

OS Northings: 414327

OS Grid: SD639143

Mapcode National: GBR BVNJ.CK

Mapcode Global: WH97L.V59F

Entry Name: Loggia, summerhouse and associated staircases in Rivington Gardens at SD 6392 1431

Listing Date: 30 January 1987

Last Amended: 6 February 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1317582

English Heritage Legacy ID: 184427

Location: Rivington, Chorley, Lancashire, BL6

County: Lancashire

District: Chorley

Civil Parish: Rivington

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Rivington

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

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Summary

A loggia with associated stone staircases, flanking walls and a summerhouse within Rivington Gardens.

Description

PLAN: a loggia and a summerhouse built from 1906 to a design by Thomas Mawson for Lord Leverhulme together with the stone staircases and flanking walls associated with and connecting both these buildings. All these features are built of gritstone with stone dressings and both buildings are rectangular in plan.

EXTERIOR: the loggia overlooks a former swimming pool/boating lake to the south and is accessed up a short flight of steps on the south side. It contains three semi-circular arches on its south elevation and one on its west, all of which spring from moulded imposts carried on columns of thin, stacked gritstone. The voussoirs are of thin gritstone slates. Above is a thin cornice carried around the loggia and above this is an altered parapet about 1 metre high surrounding a flat viewing deck accessed from its east side. A stone staircase with associated flanking walls lead from a path on the loggia's south side uphill in an L-shaped manner to the entrance to the viewing deck. From here a short length of paved path with flanking walls turns east then a staircase with flanking walls continues uphill to a summer house.

The single-storey flat-roofed summerhouse is accessed from the west up a short flight of steps and has a central rectangular entrance flanked by columns of thin, stacked gritstone. Slightly protruding bays to either side each have a centrally-placed rectangular window openings with rock-faced gritstone surrounds. Staircases with associated flanking walls lead upward around the north, south and rear sides of the summerhouse and gave access to a viewing deck on the roof from where the former parapet has been removed.

INTERIOR: access to the interior and the viewing decks of both the loggia and the summerhouse is blocked by iron railings.


History

Rivington Gardens was one of a series of three major private gardens produced by Thomas Hayton Mawson (1861-1933) in collaboration with the industrialist and philanthropist William Hesketh Lever, Lord Leverhulme (1851-1925). The Rivington site was purchased by Lever in 1899 as a parcel of land which included the area now occupied by Lever Park to the west. Lever had already formulated ideas on how the grounds might be developed and in 1901 a single-storey wooden bungalow called 'Roynton Cottage' and intended for weekend visits and shooting parties was designed by Lever's school friend Jonathan Simpson. In 1905 Lever met Mawson who collaborated with him in the design of the gardens over the period 1906-22. However, others were also involved in the design including Thomas's son, Edward Prentice Mawson (1885-1954), who undertook the overall design and in the latter years was as much responsible for the project as his father, Robert Atkinson (1883-1952) who drew illustrations in the journal 'Civic Art' in 1911, and the landscape and architectural firm of James Pulham & Son who, in 1921, were responsible for a Japanese style garden and a steep and rugged ravine with waterfalls. Lever himself also influenced the gardens' layout, designing a seven-arched bridge across Roynton Lane.

In 1913 the bungalow was destroyed by fire then rebuilt on a grander scale. Following Lever's death in 1925 the house and gardens were purchased by John Magee. After Magee's death in 1939 the site was acquired by Liverpool Corporation and in 1948 the bungalow and three entrance lodges were demolished and the gardens became open to the public. In 1974 the site passed to the North West Water Authority following local government reorganisation.

The loggia, associated steps, retaining walls and summerhouse to the east were constructed from 1906 to a design by Thomas Mawson.

Reasons for Listing

The Loggia with summerhouse and associated staircases is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architect: this building is a good example of the landscape design work of Thomas Mawson;
* Group value: it is one of a number of features that not only complement each other but are integral components of the designated garden.

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