Anderton Boat Lift

The Anderton Boat Lift is an incredible edifice, perched on the banks of the River Weaver like some giant three-storey-high iron spider.

Anderton Boat Lift, River Weaver
Anderton Boat Lift, River Weaver

Quality Assured Visitor Attraction LogoIt was built by Edwin Clark in 1875 to lift cargo boats the 50 feet from the River Weaver to the Trent & Mersey Canal.

Like all great things, the concept is simple: two huge water tanks, each with watertight sealable doors carry boats up and down. The original counter-balanced system was replaced in 1908 by electric operation, but the lift now works hydraulically again.

No description can adequately convey the sheer scale of this engineering feat. The lift worked until 1983 when serious deterioration of the structure was discovered. Some £7m was raised to fund the restoration, which was completed in 2002.

The completion of the restoration was followed by the opening of an Operations Centre in 2003. This offers interactive displays, educational facilities, a gift shop and a coffee shop.

From April to October you can enjoy boat trips through the lift and along the River Weaver Navigation.

Download our Museums and Attractions leaflet, 'Where history comes alive'

Download our Anderton Boat Lift Leaflet

Are you a boater?

Why not take your boat through the Anderton Boat Lift and experience the sheer scale of the lift whilst it effortlessly transports you from one level to the other.

Find out more about taking your boat on the country's most famous boat lift.