Heritage - The Anderton Boat Lift » River Weaver Navigation Society

The Anderton Boat Lift was originally built in 1875

Salt trade before the Lift was built - note the chutes centre of image

The Anderton Boat Lift as originally constructed

The Salt chute along side the Anderton Boat Lift

The Lift was converted to electric in 1908

Conversion to electric operation is underway

The lift after conversion to electic with its counter balance weights

Narrowboats await passage on the Lift in 1950's

The Anderton Boat Lift today

Visitors take a trip on the Edwin Clark

The Weaver is only navigable from Winsford Bridge to its confluence with the Ship Canal

The Anderton Boat Lift

The Anderton Boat Lift has an amazing story from when it was originally built in 1875 to its restoration by the local community in 2002. 

Built in 1875, under the direction of Victorian Engineers Edward Leader Williams, John Watt Sandeman and Edwin Clark, the Lift carries boats 54 feet and 4 inches from the River Weaver up the Trent and Mersey Canal.  

Prior to that, goods were transferred between the two waterways by chutes which was slow and labour intensive. 

Originally built under hydraulic power the Lift was converted to electric in 1908 under the supervision of Colonel J. A.Saner - Engineer to the Weaver Navigation Trustees. 

In 1983, the Lift was deemed unsafe and closed to traffic but through both pressure and hard work from the local community – especially the Friends of the Anderton Boat Lift – a £7 million restoration programme brought the Lift back to life on 26th March 2002. 

A great champion of the Lift was the late Fred Dibnah MBE, who visited the Lift and the River Weaver Navigation in 2004 at the end of a day's filming assignment. 

Fred described the Lift as “simply wonderful”. 

Read more about the Lift from photo journalist Keith Langston.

Images courtesy of the Keith Langston Collection. 

Hover the images to stop and view


Local News


    Our Chairman's 2017 Report including his Report on the Barons Quay Development ....

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    24th Mar 2017

    The Society held its AGM which was well attended ....

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  • British Empire Medal
    11th Jun 2016

    The RWNS Treasurer has been recognised in the Queen's Birthdday Honours List ....

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  • Swing Bridge wins National Commendation
    8th Oct 2015

    The Sutton Weaver Swing Bridge has won a national commendation ....

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  • Society recognised with Award
    1st May 2015

    The River Weaver Navigation Society has won an Oscar .....

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  • Northwich Flood Defences
    30th Oct 2014

    The Society has objected to the proposed Flood Defence Scheme in Northwich ....

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What's On

  • 2019 Salt Towns’ Rally
    13th Sep 2019 - 20th Sep 2019

    A boat rally from Winsford, down the Weaver and on to to Middlewich via the Anderton Boat Lift ....

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  • Weaverham History Society
    University Primary Academy Weaverham

    You can learn more about the area with our society partner ....

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  • Discover the History of Mid Cheshire
    Weaver Hall Museum

    Explore the history of the local area at a Museum that is close to the River Weaver ....

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  • The Lion Salt Works
    A short walk from the River Weaver Navigation

    The Lion Salt Works, following a £10m restoration is now open to the public ....

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