RIVINGTON Heritage Trust is having a long-awaited opening day for Pigeon Tower this Good Friday (April 15) after repairs that were 30 years in the making - as the annual pilgrimage to the pike returns this year.

For the past two years, people have been asked not to take part in the Easter Walk in Rivington because of Covid.

But this year it is back - and there will be plenty to enjoy.

Originally called the Lookout Tower, then the Dovecote Tower, the Pigeon Tower as it is now known was built between 1905 and 1909.

In recent times the tower had fallen into disrepair, meaning it was shut off to the public for almost 30 years.

Although it has been open to the public since the completion of the repairs, the Good Friday open day marks a "special occasion," says Andrew Suter, Heritage Programmes Manager at Groundwork CLM - who work alongside Rivington Heritage Trust.

He said: "It's a chance for people to look inside the building that they have been walking past for years.

"Everything is looking wonderful."

The Bolton News: Andrew Suter in the Terraced Gardens Andrew Suter in the Terraced Gardens

The open day will run from 10am until 2pm, with volunteers from the Trust's Friends group on hand to provide information about the tower.

There will also be refreshments available - The Cakery will be on site offering hot drinks, cakes and snacks as well as a range of fantastic handmade pizzas. They will be located between the Pigeon Tower and the Bungalow footprint.

A spokesperson for Rivington Heritage trust said: "On your way up to the Pike, please call in to the Pigeon Tower.

"The Pigeon Tower will be open to visit for a small donation to the conservation project. 

"Our Gardens Ambassadors will be walking around the Gardens to tell you about the Gardens’ history, the repair and maintenance project and opportunities for volunteering."

The Bolton News: Blue skies over the Pigeon Tower by Angela BloorBlue skies over the Pigeon Tower by Angela Bloor

They also want to remind people that "the Gardens are open 365 days a year and are always free to visit.

"This is an 'Open Day' as we are opening the Pigeon Tower and are available to share Rivington’s stories with you."

Back in January, the Trust won lottery funding to improve accessibility to the terraced gardens.

That work is now complete, meaning more people will be able to enjoy the site this Easter.

There are also plans to add two new benches in the coming weeks, which Mr Suter says is "a significant accessibilty improvement for visitors."