Conservation Glory brings recognition for Rivington Terraced Gardens

19 Nov 2021 03:48
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The five-year repair and conservation project to return Rivington Terraced Gardens to former glory from its semi-ruined condition after decades of neglect, has won the approval of The Civic Trust, which has named the listed landscape gardens as a finalist for a 2022 Civic Trust Award.

The £4m Heritage Lottery Funded project enabled Rivington Heritage Trust and architects, Donald Insall Associates, along with the support of hundreds of volunteers from the local community, to restore 11 listed structures, paths, steps, lakes and lawns at the 44-acre site.

The collaborative project has restored the structures and landscape, clearing six miles of footpaths, 40,000m2 of vegetation and restored 300m of 'lost' original footpaths. The completed lawn repair and conservation project will also provide habitat for invertebrates, small mammals, hunting grounds for birds of prey and grazing for local wild roe deer.

Dorian Proudfoot, associate director at Chester-based architects, Donald Insall Associates, said: "The key architectural consideration was to maintain the magical feel that the visitor is discovering the structures amongst the landscape and not to over-restore. The project used materials and specifications that matched the original construction as closely as possible. For sustainability reasons, stone used in the restoration was sourced from a quarry £2km from site, which was also a technical match, as the original buildings would have been built from this stone too.

"We're immensely proud to have worked on this project collaboratively and engaged the local community, who have been a driving force in achieving the impressive end result. It really is a hidden gem; a true piece of history and to reach the finals for a Civic Trust Award is a huge accolade in itself."

Andrew Suter, heritage project manager at Rivington Terraced Gardens, added: "It was a privilege to welcome the civic judge. They seemed incredibly impressed with our conservation work, but even more so with the commitment and dedication of the wider community who have spent so many hours grafting to help us in this amazing achievement.

"Our volunteers have given our 70,000 hours of their time over the last five years, a phenomenal amount which translate to almost £500,000 of March funding for the National Lottery Heritage Fund project."

Regional finalists will be put forward to the national judging panel in December and then winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony in early March, where all winning projects will be revealed.

The Civic Trust Awards have recognised more than 7,000 domestic and international projects since 1959. These range from small community projects to large internationally recognised buildings, bridges, infrastructure, public realm and public art. For more information, visit

About Rivington Terraced Gardens

Regarded as one of Britain's most important historical gardens, Rivington Terraced Gardens were conceived and built by Lord Leverhulme, the soap magnate and founder of Lever Brothers (now Unilever) with the help of British garden designer, Thomas Hayton Mawson, between 1905 and 1925.

The area has undergone a transformation in recent years, thanks to the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and the work of hundreds of volunteers. Rivington Heritage Trust runs its events programme to raise conservation costs to preserve the Gardens.

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