The Leas Lift, designed in 1885 and built on the 16th September of that year is a 'water balance' lift and is the the oldest water balanced cliff lift in England. A second lift was built less than a year later in August 1890 next to the original. The second set of tracks included a pump room which allowed them to recycle the water. The original set is still operational, but the second which closed in 1966 will not operate again until the restoration which is being carried out now is finished.
The lift is less than five minutes walk from Folkestone town center and is open to the public:
"Easter to October 9.00am - 6.00 daily. October onwards Sundays only (weather permitting)."
Crofton won the 'Building Structures' award at the ACE Engineering Excellence Awards in May 2011 and won the 'Restoration' award at the ICE Engineering Excellence Awards in June 2011 for their work on the lift.
125 years after it first opened, the operation of the Folkestone lift has been taken over by The Folkestone Leas Lift Community Interest Company. The company operates the lift on behalf of the community as a non-profit-making organisation and has opened the attraction as a living museum. Definitely worth a visit.