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Folkestone CT20 1PR
Leas Lift - The Folkestone cliff lift is a water balanced funicular opened in 1885, and remarkably remains substantially intact as built. Operations are currently suspended.
The Folkestone cliff lift is a water balanced funicular opened in 1885, and remarkably remains substantially intact as built.
It was more successful than any other, so much so that following the opening of the Victoria Pier in 1888 a second lift - the 'step car' lift - was built alongside, and then a third and fourth further along the Leas Cliff.
The lifts, originally privately owned, were taken over by the local council in 1967, but due to financial constraints the last remaining one ceased operations as it was about to enter its 125th year.
The council surrendered its lease to the freeholder, the Folkestone Estate, in 2009; the Estate subsequently refurbished the original lift and its integral infrastructure, and let it to The Leas Lift CIC which had been operating it throughout the year, daily in the summer. Details are available on its website - click here. However, the removal of the formerly free on-street parking adjacent to its upper and lower stations in September 2012 has affected its financial viability, since when the upper station has carried a banner stating that operations have ceased for the time being.