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Upper and Lower Bridges in 'The Dell' Cascade in Rivington Gardens at SD 6370 1382

A Grade II Listed Building in Rivington, Lancashire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6198 / 53°37'11"N

Longitude: -2.5503 / 2°33'1"W

OS Eastings: 363694

OS Northings: 413833

OS Grid: SD636138

Mapcode National: GBR BVML.N4

Mapcode Global: WH97L.S8RV

Entry Name: Upper and Lower Bridges in 'The Dell' Cascade in Rivington Gardens at SD 6370 1382

Listing Date: 6 February 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1410802

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

The upper and lower stone footbridges crossing The Dell Cascade in Rivington Gardens.

Description

Two bridges spanning "The Dell", a partially man-made series of waterfalls, rockpools, terraces and steps.

The Upper Bridge is built of gritstone and has a single-span arch carrying a path across the ravine from where there are views of waterfalls and pools upstream and downstream. It has a voussoir of thin gritstone slates and parapets finished with semi-circular rock-faced stones laid side by side.

The Lower Bridge is built of gritstone and has a single-span arch carrying a path across the ravine from where there are views both upstream and downstream. It has a voussoir of thin gritstone slates, stepped parapets on its approaches, and a rustic balustrade above the arch consisting of stone slabs supporting stone copings.

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 Dell' Cascade, also known as the Ravine, was created, probably under Mawson's supervision, in about 1921 by the architectural firm of James Pulham & Son, whose works frequently used Pulhamite, a patented anthropic rock.

Reasons for Listing

The upper and lower footbridges in The Dell Cascade are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architect: these bridges are good examples 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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