The Anderton Boat Lift, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Canals', is one of the seven wonders of Britain's waterways. An engineering masterpiece, the boat lift was opened on 26 July 1875 and was the world's first hydraulic canal boat lift, transporting boats 50ft between the River Weaver and the Trent & Mersey Canal.
We will carefully drain water from the aqueduct leading up to the boat lift and remove any silt and debris which has built up over the years which could prevent the lift's giant gates from remaining watertight. Engineers will then carry out a full survey of the lift to plan for future maintenance. The works are part of our £38million, five-month programme of repairs to England and Wales' waterways between November 2017 and March 2018.
Oldest surviving boat lift in the world
Alex Parsons-Hulse, engineer at the Canal & River Trust said: “This is such an important structure both locally and internationally. It is the oldest surviving boat lift in the world and the grandfather of lifts in France and Scotland, so as an engineer, it's so exciting to have the chance to work on it.
“The work the Trust is doing will ensure the lift remains in good working condition for the boaters who use it and for the hundreds of thousands of people who come to visit this engineering masterpiece.”
The Anderton Boat Lift is owned by the Trust and was restored in 2002 after a £7 million restoration was made possible thanks to a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Anderton Boat Lift is a major visitor attraction, drawing more than 120,000 visitors each year.