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History Industrial Archaeology

Cliff Lift Shanklin

REF NR: 603

The original lift as shown below was constructed some time around 1891, servicing the rapidly expanding tourist trade with convenient circumnavigation of the long walks either around the cliff or up, by way of the zig zag steps.

 old lift shanklin

Original Lift 1891 - 1957

Original Shanklin lift - was a hydraulic lift to the esplanade from the cliff top above - was opened, making access to the esplanade easier from the town.


Portsmouth Evening News - Thursday 11 August 1955

The lift linking Shanklin Esplanade with the cliff top was in the news again at the monthly meeting of Sandown - Shanklin Council when Mr. E. S. Weston asked whether there was any action to report concerning its restoration.

The Chairman (Mr. W. G. Gray) said the Parliamentary Bill had been passed, and it was now up to everyone concerned to proceed with the work as quickly as possible. All their officials knew the urgency of the matter and would see that there was no delay whatsoever.

When the matter was further discussed in committee, the Council's officials were instructed to seek Ministerial loan consent to raise the capital sum necessary. Instructions were also issued for the Council's solicitors to proceed in all haste to complete the acquisition of the undertaking, together with lands and easements embraced, and the consulting engineers are to be asked to present final plans and specifications with a view to inviting tenders at the earliest possible moment.

In 1957, the lift was removed and replaced with the current structure.  Since then it has had some troubles in 2013/14  with a peridod being shut due to wear on the footway at the top, this was finally repaired at a cost of £700,000 and reopened in June 2016


Shanklin lift - new

The current lift as built opened in 1957


More picture postcards of Shanklin seafront can be seen by clicking the link provided in the "resources" section.