Stannah and the ss Great Britain engineering the past into the present day

Stannah and the ss Great Britain engineering the past into the present day

With our shared roots in Victorian engineering it seemed fitting that we were able to make Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s ss Great Britain accessible to all.

The ss Great Britain is a pioneering, 19th-century passenger steamship designed by British civil engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, for the Great Western Steamship Company’s transatlantic service between Bristol and New York.

Built from iron with a height, from keel to main deck, of 32’ 6” (9.91m), the logistics of helping mobility compromised visitors navigate three decks posed a unique challenge for Stannah Lifts as, amongst many considerations, access had to be made through the centre of the ship, and through a glass plate into the Dry Dock below.

Drawing upon a mutual history in Victorian engineering, the Stannah lift team brought complete access for all by installing a total of five lifts ranged over the ship itself, the Dockyard Museum, and the Brunel Institute, a world-class conservation and education centre sited alongside the vessel:

• 1× 3-stop, 8-person Maxilift passenger lift in the Dockyard Museum
• 2× 2-stop Midilifts onboard ship
• 1× 2-stop Midilift on the quay at water level.
• 1× 2-stop Midilift in the Brunel Institute and Library

With Stannah’s assistance, between 150,000 - 170,000 annual visitors to this national treasure enjoy complete access to its cultural heritage.

2-stop Midilift1× 3-stop, 8-person Maxilift M MRC passenger lift in the Museum/entrance
Location: Dockyard Museum. Travel: 5345mm.

Brings access over two floors to interactive information and artefacts. Visitors to Brunel’s ss Great Britain can also use the lift to reach the bridge that takes them on to the ship’s upper deck.

2× 2-stop Midilifts on board the ship
Locations: one in front of the ship’s funnel, one on the promenade deck.

The lifts move slowly through the ship to the promenade deck and lower deck, home to a multitude of functions.

1× 2-stop Midilift providing access to under the waterline
Location: on the quay at waterlevel.

Takes visitors down into the Dry Dock through a glass ‘sea’ or waterline plate that forms the roof of a giant dehumidification chamber. Covered by a layer of water, the plate creates the illusion of a ship afloat on calm waters.

1× 2-stop Midilift SL in the Brunel Institute
Location: David MacGregor Library, Brunel Institute.

Providing access for Brunel Institute users, connecting the David MacGregor Library, next to the National Brunel Archive, the Foyle Reading Room, the Great Western Room and the Viridor Theatre. The Brunel Institute is home to the world’s finest collection of original Brunel sources, delivering inclusive and innovative learning programmes where the focus is Brunel, maritime history, archaeology, science and engineering.

Add to Project Board

Create a new project board:

Stannah Lifts

Stannah Lifts

Stannah is one of the largest independent lift manufacturers in the UK. Established in the mid 1800's by Joseph Stannah, the company is still led by the Stannah family. Over that time the name Stannah has become virtually synonymous with lifts. From...
View company profile
T(01264) 339090
F(01264) 337942
WVisit Stannah Lifts's website
 Anton Mill, Andover, Hants, SP10 2NX



Make an enquiry to Stannah Lifts

You may also be interested in this related Case Study: Stannah’s adjacent-entry Xtralift for Tormead School Read Now