Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Anderton Lift

What an exciting afternoon.
Something we have been looking forward to for a long time.
Taking Tacet on the Anderton Lift. 
Being lowered from the Trent and Mersey canal to the River Weaver 50 feet below.
Who minds paying their license fee when you get to use great feats of engineering such as this at no extra cost and no need to book ahead either. We just turned up and were able to go down on the next slot.
Waiting at the top outside the visitor centre
Looking into the aqueduct leading into the caissons
The whole structure from the top - Trent & Mersey Canal
Following nb Daydream onto the aqueduct
Lining up
Looking down onto the River Weaver - that narrowboat is so small!
Into the caisson we go
Looking up

Looking back - the guillotine gate is closing off the caisson
Passing nb Fine & Dandy going up
Down the bottom, see the other caisson at the top.
Waiting for the gate to open
Here we go
Out on the river
The whole structure from the bottom - River Weaver
 This amazing lift was built in 1875, originally the two water filled caissons counterbalanced each other being raised and lowered on huge hydraulic rams operated by a steam engine. In 1908 when major repairs were needed, it was modernised and electricity were replaced the steam.  Edit: Further changes were made after a period of closure more recently and again the caissons are raised hydraulically. The visitor centre is very popular and with free entrance gives everyone a good chance to see close up this Victorian structure still working today.


  1. Ian - the counterweight operation is illusory. The drums on the top were abandoned in the restoration 10 years ago and are ornamental only. The lifting action has reverted to hydraulics but whereas the first used water this version uses oils and high tech corrosion resistant pistons sunk deep int the river bed. As far as I can tell, its pretty much a new lift enclosed in a historic shell. That said, nothing should detract from the majesty of this old structure - certainly one of the seven wonders of the waterways world. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Thanks Cap'n, didn't get the boss to check details. Have edited blog accordingly. We did have great day. Hope you feeling better.

  3. Hi Ian and Karen,
    Les and I were standing on the grassy knole by the bottom of the lift, overlooking the R. Weaver about 4 oclock today and we saw Tacet come up the river. we waved but I think we were too far away for you to see us. We decided to keep going on the T& M and are moored up at Bridge 206 for a couple of days.

  4. It is a marvellous piece of engineering!