The Anderton Boat Lift is an incredible edifice, perched on the banks of the River Weaver like a giant three-storey-high iron spider.
It was built by Edwin Clark in 1875 to lift cargo boats the 50 feet from the Weaver Navigation to the Trent & Mersey Canal, which was engineered by James Brindley, who is celebrating his 300th birthday this year.
Like all great things, the concept is simple: two huge water tanks, each with watertight seal-able 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 Visitor Centre in 2003. This offers interactive displays, educational facilities, a gift shop and a coffee shop.
February & March 2016: Visitor Centre only Thursday to Sunday, 09:30 to 16:00
10th March to 6th November: Visitor Centre and Trip Boat Open Daily from 9am