Anderton Boat Lift.

boat lift 001The Anderton Boat Lift which can be found North West of the town of Northwich in the county of Cheshire is an engineering marvel, which is capable of raising and lowering two canal narrowboats from the Trent and Mersey canal to the river Weaver far below and vice versa.

In the past before the lift was constructed narrow boats would have to unload their cargo which would primarily have been rock salt from the salt mine at Middlewich, the salt would have been sent down chutes to the boats 50ft below on the river Weaver. This system was labour intensive and ineffcient so a man named Leader Williams who in 1875 was responsible for updating the Weaver navigation came up with the design for the boat lift.

boat lift 006

In the past there have been smaller boat lifts constructed but none had ever been really successful, yet it is a tribute to Leader Williams that his design not only worked but is still in operation in this day and age. The boat lift was the first of its type and enabled a full size barge or a pair of narrow boats to make the transition from canal to river in only five minutes. The lift was converted to run on electricity between 1906 and 1908 and was shut down in 1983 due to the fact that it was suffering from corrosion, however restoration work has taken place and the lift is now functioning once more. Not only has the lift been renovated but there is now a visitor centre and also boat trips along the river Weaver close to the lift. A link to the Anderton Boat lift website can be found at: lift 010


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