Rivington, Lancashire Genealogy

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England RTENOTITLE Lancashire RTENOTITLE Lancashire Parishes

Rivington Parish Church

Chapelry History

Rivington was created a chapel of ease by the year 1530 from, and lying within the boundaries of Bolton le Moors St Peter, Lancashire  Ancient Parish.

Rivington Church is an active Church of England parish church in Rivington, Lancashire, England. The Church has been designated as a Grade II Listed building. The Church has no patron saint and is not named after a saint or martyr. It has been variously called St. Lawrence, St. George, Holy Trinity, and St. Catherine, but its correct title is Rivington Church.

The earliest reference to a church on this site is in a deed of 1280 mentioning three acres of "terra ecclesiastical" in Rivington. A Saxon font, found in the locality, is housed in the Millennium Room at the church. When repairs were carried out to the flooring, the foundations of an earlier building were discovered, possibly Saxon in origin.

The present church was founded by royal patent of Queen Elizabeth I in 1566 at the petition of James Pilkington, the first protestant Bishop of Durham, who was born in the village. The patent was granted for the church and a school at Rivington. Richard Pilkington, father of the bishop, appealed to Doctor Bird, the Bishop of Chester, to dedicate the chapel and chapelyard and it was consecrated by him in October 1541. At the consecration, the inhabitants of the village stated on oath they had used this site for generations. The church is primarily as built in 1666 with alterations and restoration in the late 19th century. The present north wall is the original wall of the building.

There are early graves under the wooden floor of the church, including that of Richard Pilkyngton. The earliest gravestone is marked 1616. The earliest memorial in the church is dated 1627.

Rivington was created a parish out of the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Bolton le Moors in 1856, and at their own cost, and by a privilege which only eleven churches in the country possessed, the parishioners were able to select their own minister.

The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created in 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley.

"RIVINGTON, or Rovington, a district chapelry, in the parish of Bolton, union of Chorley, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 8 miles northwest from Bolton. The chapelry comprises the townships of Rivington, Anglezarke, and part of Sharples. The chapel is a plain structure, supposed, from a monumental inscription, to have been erected about the year 1530, or a little later.

The Unitarians have a place of worship."[1]


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/

Church records

Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Census records

Index for the Census may be searched at FamilySearch Historical Records

http://www.1881pubs.com/ for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions

Chorley Poor Law Union, Lancashire

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites

Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.


  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 676-679. Adapted. Date accessed: 20 July 2010.