The Anderton Boat Lift is a two caisson lift lock linking the Trent and Mersey Canal and the River Weaver. The boat lift was built in 1875. It was in use until 1983 when it was closed due to corrosion. Recent restoration work was carried out and the boat lift was re-opened in 2002. The Canal and River Trust now operate and maintain the lift and visitor centre. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Either side of the lift mechanism sit two identical Toll houses. UK Restoration Services was contracted to complete whole scale reconstruction of the two toll houses as they were at risk of collapsing due to the salt environment attacking the brickwork.

Full scaffolding and tenting were erected around both buildings to prevent any inclement weather and frost from affecting the reconstruction. One freestanding electric heater was used within each tent to prevent the temperature falling below 5 degrees. This was used to ensure the lime mortar did not fail.

The guttering, down pipes and all brackets were removed and set aside for reuse. All internal electrics were stripped out. Some units were set aside for re-use and some disposed of.

The entire roofs were lifted off and set aside for reuse.

The two side walls and gable end opposite the chimney were carefully taken down to three brick courses above ground. The gable walls containing the chimney stack and fireplace were left standing.

The bricks and roof slates were cleaned and sorted ready for reconstruction. Those that were in a poor condition were disposed of and replaced with ones of a matching specification.

The external brick walls were carefully reconstructed to match the original construction of the Toll Houses, as previously some bricks had been unsympathetically replaced. NHL 3.5 Lime mortar was used for the pointing. A slate damp-proof course was laid.

The repaired windows, doors, cills and lintels were re-installed along with the internal cupboards.

The roof was re-installed to match the previous specification. The works included new breather paper over sarking boards, new under-cloak and new lead flashings to chimney. New barge and fascia boards with detail to match the existing specification were installed and painted.

For the gable walls that remained standing, the badly spalled bricks were removed and replaced with bricks of a matching specification. The mortar was raked out from the gable walls and re-pointed with lime mortar to match the reconstructed walls.

The mortar flaunching to the chimney pots was hacked off and the chimney stack was swept and sealed with slate and re-bed with new flaunching.

The rainwater goods were taken back to bare metal. One coat of primer was applied, then one coat of rust metal paint and one coat of black bituminous paint. The rainwater goods were re-installed.

Electrical works were completed by a qualified electrician.

Our sympathetic reconstruction of the two Toll houses at the Anderton Boat Lift ensured that they will remain in place for years to come and they are in keeping with the original design.

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