Celebrating the rebirth of the Anderton Boat Lift

Anderton Boat Lift

Anderton Boat Lift - Credit: DKS Drones

The Anderton Boat Lift near Northwich is an important part of Cheshire’s industrial and transport heritage, and is now one of the most popular visitor attractions in the county. 

It is classed as one of the Seven Wonders of the UK waterways along with Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in LLangollen and the Barton Swing Aqueduct in Manchester and is known as the Cathedral of the Canals.  

Built in 1875, it was responsible for lifting narrowboats and barges straight up the 50-foot difference in height between the two water levels of the River Weaver and Trent and Mersey Canal. 

The end of the Industrial Revolution and the decline of the reliance on the canal network to transport goods, saw the fall in traffic passing through here.  

In 1983, it was declared structurally unsound and closed until the late 1990s when a major project was launched to restore the installation. After several millions were raised through a combination of a consortium of organisations, Heritage Lottery Funding and local fundraisers, work began in the year 2000, finishing two years later. 

Today, its lower level houses a free interactive exhibition that looks at the lift’s history and the people who worked on and around it. There is also a daily schedule for the glass sided boat, The Edwin Clark, on which for a fee you can enjoy a 90-minute combined lift and river cruise, and see the lift in action. The accompanying visitor centre, play park and maze, are a great spot to while away a few hours off the boat.  

In 2022, the lift is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its reopening after the restoration. The attraction will be hosting a season of events this year, including a Steam Fair weekend and a 10k run in May.

Most Read

This starts with the weekend of February 26- 27 with public open days, when trust engineers will give unique access and insight into the lift’s complex mechanism. 

Anderton Boat Lift

Anderton Boat Lift - Credit: DKS Drones

DKS Drones

Anderton Boat Lift - Credit: DKS Drones

Anderton Boat Lift

Anderton Boat Lift - Credit: DKS Drones

Forestry Commission site at Anderton Boat Lift

Forestry Commission site at Anderton Boat Lift - Credit: John Cocks


Volunteers from the Active Waterways Cheshire project

Volunteers from the Active Waterways Cheshire project - Credit: Active Waterways Cheshire

Cheshire canal volunteers win national award

Twenty-seven volunteers from the Active Waterways Cheshire project received a national volunteering award from the Canal & River Trust waterways and wellbeing charity and the Marsh Charitable Trust.

The Marsh Trust Awards celebrate volunteer excellence and activities delivered by teams and individuals across the Canal & River Trust’s 2,000-mile network of waterways in England and Wales.

The Cheshire volunteers lead guided walks in Chester, Ellesmere Port, Nantwich, Northwich and Macclesfield as part of the three-year Active Waterways project, in partnership with Sport England, to encourage over-55s to get active and feel better by water.