Bolton Library and Museum Services

Rivington School Archive

On the 13th May 2016, Rivington and Blackrod will celebrate the 450 year anniversary of the signing of the Charter of Foundation, which was granted to James Pilkington, Bishop of Durham in 1566 to establish Rivington and Blackrod as a Grammar School.

Originally known as the Free Grammar School of Queen Elizabeth at its charter of foundation, the school was originally established as a Grammar School intended to teach mainly classics to educate pupils for entry to colleges and then into priesthood. Therefore entry was restricted to boys, with girls being taught at home by parents. The school played host to many children from both landed gentry such as the Standishes, the Norrises and the Sherburnes, and educated the sons and heirs of knights alongside those of humble birth.

The school has played a very important role in educating this local community through changing times. ‘Once a Riv always a Riv’ – a simple phrase that not only reflects the impact our school has had on all those who have walked its corridors, but also says so much about the character of the people who make up the Rivington and Blackrod school family.

We are fortunate to have such a beautiful looking school. However, it is now, and always has been, the people that make our school so special. Generations of students talk of a ‘family spirit’ that is founded on strong relationships and outstanding care, guidance and support. This spirit is the constant that links our current school community of around 1900 pupils and 240 staff with much smaller school rolls in times gone by.

We are delighted to have received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help us to explore and preserve the educational heritage of Rivington and Blackrod High School. This funding has enabled us to further investigate the link with the Bishop of Durham, protect and digitally share archives for the wider community to see and encourage our young people to find out and share with others the past history of Rivington and Blackrod.

We are very pleased to have been able to work with Bolton Library and Museum Service in order to preserve the school’s archives and artefacts. Part of Rivington and Blackrod School Archive is now stored at Bolton Library and Museum Service and we aim to continue to work together throughout the 450 special anniversary year and beyond.

See for further information.