Rivington Pike is a hill summit and part of the West Pennine Moors, overlooking the village of Rivington whose boundary stretches toward Winter Hill in Lancashire. The nearest towns are Chorley and Horwich. The 'Pike' is a prominent local landmark. The name Rivington derives from the Old English hreof plus ing and tun meaning farmstead at the rough or rugged hill. An alternative is "Rowenton", an early name derived from the rowan or mountain ash trees that once grew there. Pike derives from the Old English pic, a pointed eminence

Geography and geology
The Pike at 1,191 feet (363 metres) high is the most westerly high point of Winter Hill in the West Pennine Moors. The high moorland is underlain with Carboniferous rocks, the Millstone Grit, sandstones and shales of the Lower Coal Measures which rise high above the Lancashire Plain to the west and Greater Manchester conurbation to the south. The humped shaped of the summit coincides with a coal seam of the Lower Coal Measures at around 1,148 feet (350 metres). The natural vegetation is characterised by areas of blanket bog, impoverished upland heath and acid grassland.

History
There are prehistoric sites at Noon Hill tumulus on Winter Hill, at Coblowe hillock by the Lower Rivington Reservoir and it and is possible that a standing stone occupied the summit in the prehistoric period. An archaeological dig found evidence of prehistoric activity at nearby Winter Hill but Rivington Pike summit has never been subject to an archaeological survey. In 1904 author, Fergusson Irvine described the Pike as "the curious hog-backed mound which crowns the summit of the hill and on which stands the Beacon, shows signs of having been at least shaped by artificial means. No doubt it is mainly a natural feature, but there are distinct traces of its having been trimmed and the approach steepened at several points". The area described coincided with a thin coal seam that outcropped around the Pike and which was mined around 1800. There is evidence of bell pits close to the summit. Beacon The summit of Rivington Pike was the site of one of a series of beacons spanning England as an early warning system. The beacon system was put in place by Ranulph de Blundeville, 4th Earl of Chester around 1139, following a Scottish raid in 1138, when a small Lancashire army was defeated near Clitheroe by a much larger Scottish force. The beacon was lit on 19 July 1588 to signal the Spanish Armada was heading towards English shores. Beacons were lit near to the tower for the Coronation of King George V in 1910, at the end of the Great War in 1918 and in 1977 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The tower The Pike Tower, a Grade II* listed building and landmark is on the summit of the hill. The tower is square, with sides of 5 metres (16 ft) in length and is 6 metres (20 ft) high. It was built with a wooden roof, three windows and a door which are now blocked up. The roof was hidden by a parapet with pointed corner and intermediate steps. Inside it retains a fireplace and once had a chimney. Its single room is 4 metres (13 ft) square with a stone flagged floor and was panelled. There is a cellar. It was built as hunting lodge in gritstone and was completed in 1733. John Andrews of Rivington Hall built the tower on the site of the beacon using its stone for its foundations. It was built as a watch tower and used for grouse shooting parties. William Lever gifted land to the people of Bolton "For the benefit of the citizens of his native town and neighbourhood by Act of Parliament in 1902 the ownership and care of the park were vested in the Corporation of the City of Liverpool". The gift included the Pike Tower which was owned by Liverpool Corporation as part of an agreement for water supplies. The corporation neglected the tower and planned to demolish it in 1967 but were met with a public outcry and legal action. The land was transferred to Chorley Urban District Council who restored the building in 1973 and further work in the 1990s.

Footpaths
There is an extensive network of footpaths leading to the summit, some along carriage ways created by William Lever when he laid out Lever Park in the early 20th century and constructed roads to access his residence at Rivington. Most of these roads have not been maintained since his death in 1925 and are rough and no longer suitable for traffic. The highest part of the route to the summit is a footpath and steps built in the 1990s to combat erosion and prevent further deterioration.

Events
Easter Pike Fair Rivington Pike Fair was held annually on Whit Saturday, and in 1900 was moved to Good Friday and was held at the highest part of Georges Lane, close to the summit. The fair attracted many people from Horwich, Chorley and further afield. During the 1830s there was an increase in drunken and riotous behaviour following the fair, which brought prompt and stern measures from the local authorities. Two men from Bolton were charged with "Neglect of Divine Service", by selling on Rivington Pike on a Sunday. The arrival of the Manchester and Bolton Railway's extension to Preston and opening of Blackrod railway station in 1841 brought more visitors, and this was sustained until the introduction of seaside discount train tickets in about 1860, which caused a decline in visitor numbers. Rivington Pike Fell Race The Rivington Pike Fell Race has been held on Easter Saturday since 1892. The fell race originally started from the Horwich railway works, but since 1930 from the park entrance at Lever Park Avenue. It now attracts around 400 runners. The course is 3.25miles and there is a 700 feet ascent. Motor racing up the pike In the early 20th century, car and motorcycle races were held up Rivington Pike. From 1906 to 1912, Bolton motorists witnessed the performance of a variety of cars and motor-cycles in the hands of some notable drivers of the day, on the private roads of the Rivington estate. Under the auspices of the North-East Lancs Automobile Club and the Lancashire Motor-Cycle Club, the first of these hill-climb races took place on 25 July 1906. Competitors were limited to members of the former club, and the race was divided into 10 classes according to the list price of the car. Music festivals The Rivington Pike Music Festivals and North Country Fairs were held in the Chinese Gardens on the slope of the Pike in the summers of 1976 and 1977 and locally named flower power invasions. The numbers of people attending caused local concerns. Bands playing included Body, John Peel favourites Tractor,The Damned and Here and Now. The 1976 Rivington Pike Music Festival inspired a collection of Rochdale people who attended to launch the Deeply Vale Festivals in mid September 1976.

Summits in and around the Rivington area
There are extensive pathways in and around the Rivington area.

Name Locality Elevation OS grid reference Winter Hill ” Rivington 456 metres (1,496 ft) SD659149 Counting Hill Smithills/ Belmont 433 metres (1,421 ft) SD671141 Two Lads Hill ” Horwich 389 metres (1,276 ft) SD655133 Noon Hill ” Rivington 380 metres (1,247 ft) SD647150 Crooked Edge Hill Horwich 375 metres (1,230 ft) SD654134 Rivington Pike Rivington 362 metres (1,188 ft) SD643138 Adam Hill Horwich 360 metres (1,181 ft) SD660126 White Brow Horwich 358 metres (1,175 ft) SD661124 Whimberry Hill Belmont 340 metres (1,115 ft) SD686139 Egg Hillock Belmont 328 metres (1,076 ft) SD684142 Brown Hill Rivington 325 metres (1,066 ft) SD644135 Brown Lowe Smithills 325 metres (1,066 ft) SD669130 Burnt Edge Horwich 325 metres (1,066 ft) SD667125 ” Denotes walker's cairn or similar.

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