Caernarfon Castle is one of the most iconic buildings in North Wales, and has a storied history spanning over 700 years. Today, it’s known internationally as one of the best examples of architecture from the Middle Ages. Originally built as a fortress during the wars of the Welsh princes, it took on a role as one of the homes of Edward I, and established Caernarfon as a key location and administrative centre of North Wales for hundreds of years.

Today, Caernarfon Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in North Wales, and is on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. It’s run, maintained and managed by the Welsh government agency Cadw, who work to keep the castle and its history alive for future generations to experience and learn from.


The Project

Sheridan Lifts were approached to help carry out a new project surrounding the King’s Tower turret. In order to improve accessibility to the viewing deck at the top of the King’s Tower and ensure that this historic site is open and available to all, a lift was required.

The lift we were tasked with designing and installing needed to provide safe vertical access to the viewing gallery in the King’s Tower turret. For a project like this where we worked with a historical building, a bespoke lift was the perfect choice.

London Office

Our Brief and the Design Process

The lift that the Sheridan Lifts team designed for this project was a completely bespoke frameless glass lift, which had to be assembled fully offsite and then installed on site.

By using a glass lift cabin, the view from the lift is completely unobstructed and offers beautiful panoramas of the castle, castle walls, and surrounding area out towards the Menai Strait. On this lift, the doors were also fixed at the bottom of the lift, rather than at the top, to reduce any impediment to the view for users. The use of a full glass lift also gives a bespoke feel to, making it a fully integrated part of the attraction and improving the experience users of all kinds have using vertical transport while visiting the castle.

The timescales for bespoke lifts are always considerably tighter than for a standard “out of the box” lift project, as there are particular processes and design elements that need to be signed off.

For this project, we created a 3D rendering of the lift as part of the design process, allowing us to present a full design and provide realistic imagery to the client for sign off. This allowed the team and the client to visualise the lift onsite, and get a strong idea of what the finished product would look like.

We also procured all of our parts and equipment from the UK, to reduce the carbon footprint of the lift project overall, and to ensure the quality of all of the parts we use in our lift designs.

lift installation process

Challenges the Sheridan Lifts Team Overcame on this Project

As Caernarfon Castle is a Grade 1 listed building, there are significant restrictions on what can be constructed, the materials that can be used and where utilities (such as electricity lines) can be run. All work carried out on this project had to be done with exceptional care to prevent any damage to the historic structure of the building.

We also had to ensure that the lift carriage and structures installed didn’t protrude too highly over the turret of the King’s Tower and impact on the skyline of this majestic and historic building.

In order to gain planning and building approval from the local authority and council, several bespoke solutions were required that meant there was minimal disruption to the existing historic castle structure.

In order to cause minimal disruption to the historic site and its visitors, the lift was assembled entirely off-site. Once this was completed, the lift was transported from Sheridan HQ to the site in Caernarfon, and was crane lifted into the site for installation. This was an incredibly precise operation and great care and expertise from our team was required in order to get the lift car in place, without damage to the building or the custom-made lift. Once the lift was in place, the team could work on ensuring that the structure was safely secured without any adverse impact to the castle walls.

crane in front of the castle

Bespoke Lift Projects with Sheridan Lifts

The team at Sheridan Lifts are incredibly proud of the results of this lift project, and feel privileged to be able to open up a piece of Wales’ history to users who might not otherwise have been able to experience it.

To learn more about our bespoke lift projects, or how Sheridan Lifts can help get your next lift project off the ground, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Sheridan Group