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Summer house and associated staircases in Rivington Gardens at SD 6370 1393

A Grade II Listed Building in Rivington, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6207 / 53°37'14"N

Longitude: -2.5502 / 2°33'0"W

OS Eastings: 363706

OS Northings: 413937

OS Grid: SD637139

Mapcode National: GBR BVMK.PT

Mapcode Global: WH97L.S8T4

Entry Name: Summer house and associated staircases in Rivington Gardens at SD 6370 1393

Listing Date: 6 February 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1410753

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 summer house and associated staircases at SD63701393 in Rivington Gardens.

Description

A summer house with associated staircases built in 1922 to a design by Thomas Mawson for Lord Leverhulme. It is built in gritstone and is rectangular in plan.

The single-storey flat-roofed summer house overlooks Breres Meadow to the west and is fronted by a semi-circular paved area edged by three steps which afford access from the adjacent woodland track. The summer house is accessed up a short flight of steps leading to a broad centrally-placed entrance that is divided into three by two pairs of columns of thin, stacked gritstone. Similar columns are located at either end of the broad entrance. Slightly protruding bays to either side of the entrance each have a centrally-placed two-light stone mullion window opening with rock-faced gritstone surrounds. Staircases with associated flanking walls lead upwards at either side of the summer house and give access to a viewing deck surrounded by a parapet on the flat roof. To the rear of the summer house a stone staircase with associated flanking walls leads eastwards up the hillside then divides into two and runs either side of a small flat viewing area before continuing uphill as a single staircase with flanking walls to reach a terraced track aligned north-south. Access to the interior of the summer house and its viewing deck 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 summer house located at SD 6370 1393 was constructed in 1922 to a design by Thomas Mawson and was positioned to overlook Breres Meadow to the west.

Reasons for Listing

The Summer House and associated staircases are 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: they not only complement the other surrounding listed structures, but are integral components of the designated garden.

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