As the day was forecast to be reasonable and no rain I did expect to maybe see a few more faces but it wasn't to be. Just the 4 of us.
For me, this was to be my first undulating walk since my knee troubles and I'm pleased to report that all went well. In fact it turn out to be a good day as my Satmap Active 10 also worked faultlessly.
After a quick brew we donned our packs and away we went.
There was plenty to chat as it had been a while since I had last met up with Martin and Viv especially.
Martin's planned future visits will make his blog well worth a visit over the coming months and once again the sofa will be gathering dust.
Our Route. 8km.
Start and finish was from the Visitor Centre at SD628 138.
We were slowed down a bit by a larger group of younger plodders but soon our directions went in different ways. It was a bit muddy prior to reaching the good track that leads up to the Pigeon tower and along the old walled gardens planted years ago by workers of Lord Leverhulme.
It would seem that work has begun tidying them up.
Approaching Rivington Pike the wind picked up quite a bit and it had a cutting bite to it. We took some shelter on the leeward side but there was no lingering today. There was to be no coffee and prawn sandwiches at the top this time although Martin handed out the choccy brownies to ensure we had enough energy to make it back down. There was a suggestion that we would stop for a brew once we got out of the wind but this took a while to come to fruition.
As happens when you get to the top of the hill we marched back down again. Well slid to be precise. Still plenty of mud around.
On entering the folly of Liverpool Castle on the shores of Rivington Reservoir we found a sheltered spot for a brew.
The folly is a smaller replica of the old Liverpool Castle which was demolished years ago. Today its just a sad ruin.
Info from Wiki for those readers who may not know the park..
Lever Park is a designed landscape between the open moorland and the chain reservoirs which incorporates the village and buildings of Rivington into the overall design and is "one of the largest and most impressive examples of landscape design in Edwardian England". It is of national importance and historical significance but has been neglected and has deteriorated. Situated on the east bank of the Lower Rivington reservoir, the park is named after William Lever, Lord Leverhulme, who bought the estate in 1900 and donated 364 acres (1.47 km2) of land to the people of his native Bolton as a public park. Under the terms of a compulsory purchase order, William Lever was allowed to continue with plans to lay out Lever Park at his own expense, and he maintained it during his lifetime. The park opened in 1904 and contained a boating lake, a zoo, tree-lined avenues and a network of footpaths. A folly, Rivington Castle, was built as a scale replica of Liverpool Castle at Coblowe Hillock near the Lower Rivington Reservoir. Lodges were built at the entrances to the estate, including Stone House Lodge at the main driveway.
Roynton Cottage, originally a single-storey wooden bungalow, and its extensive gardens were the private property of William Lever, which he used for weekend visits and entertaining, high on the hillside below Rivington Pike. The bungalow was destroyed in an arson attack by suffragette, Edith Rigby, on 8 July 1913. Its replacement was built of stone. Thomas Mawson designed the 45-acre (180,000 m2) gardens between 1905 and 1922. The private gardens contained terraces and a pool, a Japanese lake and pagoda, Italian-style gardens, a seven-arched bridge and the Pigeon Tower with Lady Leverhulme's sewing room on the top floor.
After Lever's death Roynton Cottage was acquired by the Bolton brewer, John Magee. During the Second World War the bungalow was requisitioned to be used as a billet for troops, and nissen huts were erected in the grounds. After the war the site was acquired by Liverpool Corporation, who decided to demolish the building.
In 1974 the park and gardens passed to the North West Water Authority from Liverpool Corporation, and to United Utilities on privatisation, and are maintained as a public country park for the people of Bolton, protected by rights afforded by the Liverpool Corporation Act 1902 ensuring “Free and uninterrupted enjoyment by the public”. The listed historic landscape of Lever Park now forms part of Rivington County Park and is used for recreation.
Leaving the castle and following the shore line we spotted a tiny wood mouse crossing our path. It was quite easy to catch and photograph before spotting a second one which found a hole beside a tree root and disappeared. These we tiny wee things and we put the captured mouse back beside the hole where it too disappeared.
We took a longer detour back to the visitor centre but all told it was only 8km. It was certainly very pleasant to be out again in good company.
View across Rivington.
The Pigeon Tower
Rivington Pike. 362Metres.
On the way up.
Viv and Winter Hill Masts
Lower Rivington Reservoir
On the way down.
In the replica of Liverpool Castle
Cute tiny Wood MouseThanks Martin for arranging the walk. I look forward to the next one.