Travel: The things I've seen: Christleton Sewage Lift

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The Independent Travel
WHEN I asked people in Christleton, near Chester, if they could tell me where the sewage lift was, they looked at me oddly. But I found it myself, outside the village on the A41.

There is a long slow hill here called Straightway. Piped sewage had a problem getting up the hill, so a large- scale lavatory cistern was installed. The Christleton Sewage Lift is a huge cast-iron column supporting the water cistern, charmingly disguised as a dovecote. Water descending from the cistern was used to flush sewage up the slope and away.

Increasing populations and modern sewage pumps finally made the lift obsolete, but it was preserved as a monument. I spoke to a farmer in an adjacent field. Just to set the mood, he had been muck-spreading.

'Any sewage that stopped here was sent on its way,' he said. 'But that was years ago. They don't need the lift now, and they spend thousands of pounds just keeping it painted white.'

The Christleton Sewage Lift is at Ordnance Survey Grid Reference SJ 440652.

(Photograph omitted)