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Cliff Lift

A Grade II Listed Building in Cliftonville West, Kent

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Latitude: 51.3921 / 51°23'31"N

Longitude: 1.4014 / 1°24'5"E

OS Eastings: 636729

OS Northings: 171392

OS Grid: TR367713

Mapcode National: GBR WZT.M4T

Mapcode Global: VHMCP.78QM

Entry Name: Cliff Lift

Listing Date: 5 November 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1422305

Location: Thanet, Kent, CT9

County: Kent

District: Thanet

Electoral Ward/Division: Cliftonville West

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Margate

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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Cliff lift. Constructed for Margate Borough Council in 1934 in Art Deco style with Egyptian influences. Refurbished in the 1990s.


Cliff lift. Constructed for Margate Borough Council in 1934 in Art Deco style with Egyptian influences. Refurbished in the 1990s.

MATERIALS: concrete walls with flat roof.

PLAN: pylon tower built into the cliffs at the sides and rear, housing a lift shaft for a single car with entrances at both cliff and beach level.

EXTERIOR: the tower is about 30ft in height and 12ft wide at the base, tapering towards the top, which has a stepped cornice.

The north side facing Walpole Bay has a tall central panel from the top to the plinth with five ribs, the upper part of this has four narrow blank openings between these, each with two small circular ventilation holes. The tall projecting plinth incorporates an entrance with recessed pilasters and a rectangular panel above inscribed 'LIFT' in serifs.

The west side has at the top, three recessed blank openings similar to, and at the same height as those on the north side. The lower part of the structure is built into the adjoining cliff and has a wide brick retaining wall with rendered plinth.

The east side also has three recessed blank openings and is similarly built into the cliff but has a further side entrance approached by a staircase, possibly for lift maintenance.
The south or cliff elevation has an entrance with a plain entablature inscribed 'LIFT' in serifs, a narrow flat concrete hood, and the wide entrance sides incorporate blank panels. There is a late C20 shutter fronted door.


The Cliff Lift, Queens Promenade, was built in 1934 for Margate Borough Council in order to provide easier access between Easter and September from the top of the cliffs along Queen's Promenade to the beach at Walpole Bay below, including the 1900 Walpole Bay Tidal Pool (Grade II). Until then access to the beach had been either through Newgate Gap or by means of the 1911 Cliftonville Cliff Railway which originally adjoined the Cliff Lift but was demolished in 1978. The lift was more manageable for the infirm, elderly and those with prams.

The structure is shown on the 4th Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1940. In the 1950s the lift cost 3d for adults and 2d for children. The structure was refurbished in the 1990s.

Reasons for Listing

The Cliff Lift, Queens Promenade, a 1934 cliff lift constructed for Margate Borough Council to provide easier access between the cliff top and beach, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a stylish Art Deco design with Egyptian influences in the form of a tapering concrete pylon;
* Intactness: the cliff lift is externally unaltered;
* Rarity of building type: this is a rare building type nationally with only four other cliff lifts currently listed;
* Comparability: comparable in date, materials and style with a listed 1926 cliff lift in Ramsgate (Grade II);
* Group value: adjoins Walpole Bay Tidal Pool and is part of a series of historic seafront buildings in Cliftonville, most of which are listed.

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