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The Anderton Boat Lift


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The Anderton Boat Lift

The Anderton Boat Lift was designed by Edwin Clark and opened in 1875. It was the world’s first commercially successful boat lift that lifted or lowered vessels by 50 feet between the Weaver Navigation and the Trent & Mersey Canal. The book details its construction and history.

Edwin Clark also designed boat lifts that worked on similar principles in France and Belgium. However, due to the salt polluted water in the area, Victorian technology was not sufficient. As a result, the lift was converted to electrical operation between 1906 and 1908. Today, the boat lift is a combination of Victorian and Edwardian engineering and expertise.

The Weaver Navigation Trust’s Engineer, Col. J.A. Saner, oversaw the construction of a new superstructure over the original lift to facilitate the conversion. Remarkably, the work only caused three short stoppages to the traffic using it in the two years it took to complete.

The book covers the boat lift’s conception, construction, conversion from hydraulic to electrical operation, and eventual restoration. It also explores the industry and transport systems of Northwich and the Staffordshire Potteries that led to the need for the boat lift.

The author also considers some of the alternative methods of raising and lowering craft on inland waterways that Edward Leader Williams, Engineer to the Weaver Navigation Trust 1856-1872, first looked at. Finally, the book briefly examines the new boat lift that opened in 2002, linking the Forth & Clyde and Union Canals in Scotland.

This is the first detailed history of the Anderton Boat Lift. Written by one of the consultant engineers who worked on the restoration, it will undoubtedly be welcomed by civil engineers, transport historians, and industrial archaeologists worldwide.

Additional information


David Carden



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Canal Junction Shop

Canal Junction has been online for over 25 years. Through our Canal Junction Shop we sell our extensive range of canal books directly to the public.


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Within United Kingdom (UK) £3.95

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