The new railway to Wigan

an excursion to Rivington Pike 1855

an excursion to Rivington Pike 1855

Southport Visiter, May 3rd 1855

The new railway to Wigan

A pedestrian may have a pleasant days excursion from Gathurst Bridge station in the direction of Rivington Pike.

A lane, leading direct from Standish from Gathurst Bridge, and the old church is well worth examination. Taking the direction towards Blackrod by some paper-mills, you pass by two singular buildings forming a kind of lodge, they are pentagons, or five sided buildings, and do not look as well as octagons or decagons, but being covered with ivy and in a good situation are worth viewing.

Harley Hall is in a long lane before you reach Blackrod and is a pretty dwelling with shrubs and trees tastefully planted.

Blackrod Church is in a good situation, and on the north-east side a field-way has some very commanding and beautiful prospects in the direction of the Pike and Two Lads, or mountain tops called by that name, from two youths once perishing in the snow. Near Blackrod Church there was once a Roman Station, but the natives know nothing about it now, for if you enquire, they say there is Adlington station and the Horwich and Blackrod stations, but they never passed the Roman Station, it must be some other line.

A little beyond the Blackrod station you pass the place prepared for the lake which will shortly be formed for supplying Liverpool with water. The filtering part will be near this spot. The lake will reach for 3 to 4miles, though it will be very narrow in some places. The side embankment and walls are formed. Man is a very ingenious creature after all. He calculates the height to which the lake will ascend, and lays the foundations before the waters cover it. You will second time cross the turn of the rivulet to supply the lake. When you approach Rivington two lanes branch in different directions, one to the Villa, and the other conducts you to the Hall, the residence of that fine old English gentleman, Robert ANDREWS, Esq, where the rooks are now busy building their nests, and before the mansion is a beautiful oval pond that has lately been stocked with an additional 150 trout from the brooks that run in the neighbourhood. Here the views are remarkably striking. The Pike overhangs the scene, and crowds of parties go to the summit on the evening of a holiday.

Southport can be seen in the distance, and Harrock Hill and Blackrod are beheld in another direction.

Near Rivington is a waterfall, situated in a romantic glen. After showers of rain, the fall is very striking, but any season, “with the friends we love best,” it is delightful to visit such scenery.

“And we find that the best charms of nature improve,

when we see them reflected from looks that we love.”

The sun never sets more beautifully than it does from Rivington, as sparkling rays are reflected on the surface of the Ribble, and the intervening valleys give beauty to the scene, and the stars of heaven never appear more brilliant than they do at the foot of the Rivington Pike.

The church is on the summit of a little hill, and will command a good view of the lake. The Unitarian Chapel is not far distant, the grave-yard does honour to those who take care of it, as the grass, shrubs and flowers look so beautiful. They have a custom here to shut up at the chapel when there is a charity sermon at the church, and to close the church when there is a charity sermon at the chapel. The villagers seem to wish to be good Samaritans, and to do good to persons of another denomination, thus uniting in acts of charity.

There are several neat dwellings in the village. The residence of Charles DARBISHIRE Esq is very comfortably situated, and the garden is kept in beautiful condition. The village school is a good building, it is endowed with £300 a year and supports three masters.

A new road is now formed across the valley, over the intended lake, and a good stone building for an hotel is being constructed. The poor Black Boy [the original hotel] will soon be pulled down, for the water will cover that hospitable roof, and poor Bennett LOW the landlord, with his industrious wife, will have to quit the dwelling, which as always been kept in a so neat and clean a manner.

The valley of Anglezack lies in the direction of Chorley, and commands a delightful prospect. The lake will flow here and some of the scenery will be improved. It is painful to think that some of the green meadows will have to be covered by the watery element, but the clear waters with little boats on the surface will make some amends.

In this valley the first barites in England was discovered but though chemists thought it would be useful, it only serves to adulterate white paint.

The pedestrian may return from Rivington by Adlington, and take the train by Lostock or Preston if fatigued, if not, he may return by Adlington Hall.

Here walks are pleasant, a field-way conducts the stranger to Standish church again, whence he may proceed to Gathurst Bridge and so return to Southport. If he chooses to strike off in the direction of Parbold and Newburgh, he may pass Wrightington Hall, over a very picturesque bridge, and by a spacious pond. He may go by Dangerous Corner, and descend by Parbold Hill, and the glimpses of scenery will remind him of Wales. This part has been justly called by some one the Switzerland of Lancashire.

Copyright 2002 / To date