Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Paternoster Refurbishment

Information and updates on the paternoster refurbishment programme


Over the past year we've been refurbishing our iconic paternoster lift, with the aim of bringing it back into service during the academic year 2020/21. The lift has been fully restored with some added new safety features.

The paternoster has been an important part of our library since it first opened in 1967. It is one of just two lifts like it which are now left in the UK, so we’ve been planning the best way to make sure it can remain open and accessible for visitors to the Albert Sloman Library. It has been out of action since summer 2018, and work has been ongoing behind the scenes to organise resources and expertise to get it working again.

The works have included:

  • Completely replacing the lifts drive gears and chain
  • Replacing the main control system with a modern high efficiency system
  • Installing a new vari-speed drive system, so the lift can easily be slowed down
  • Updating all of the lift cars
  • Upgrading the lighting in the lift shaft
  • New safety features, like a traffic light system to help you get onto the lift

Key dates

Work began in December 2019.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were some delays to the overall programme.

The paternoster will be back in service for Library users from Tues 1 June 2021.

Paternoster lift - University of EssexPaternoster Lift - University of Essex Library