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Christ Church College, Oxford – Trolley (Goods Only) Lift

Our Christ Church College case study of two bespoke sized EN81-31 Trolley Goods Only Lifts good enough for Harry Potter.

We are delighted to have your attention regarding you our Christ Church College case study.

Founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII, Christ Church College is one of the largest and wealthiest colleges within the University of Oxford.

The grounds contain several architecturally significant buildings, including Tom Tower, designed by highly acclaimed English architect Sir Christopher Wren, and the Great Dining Hall, the seat of the parliament assembled by King Charles I during the English Civil War. In recent times, the Great Hall is even the inspiration for the Hogwarts Great Hall from the Harry Potter movie franchise.

With 661 students in 2022, and hundreds more lecturers and staff, the Great Hall has been in constant use since the sixteenth century. Alongside the kitchens, the Hall has hosted spectacular banquets over the centuries and today still provides members of the college with up to three meals a day. Located two floors below the Hall, the college chefs freshly prepare meals in a kitchen first built in the 1520s. Once prepared, our two EN81-31 BKG Trolley Goods Only Lifts transport meals and equipment to the Hall above.

When space matters – Bespoke car size

Working closely with Deltron Lifts, the lift installation and maintenance provider for Christ Church College, we produced a design and specification that would work within the historical nature of the building. Not constructed to modern-day specifications, the oversized existing lift shaft meant a standard lift car size was unsuitable for the application. To fully maximise the available space, together with the flexibility of our BKG lifts, the lift car is engineered to bespoke dimensions of 1400(h) x 700(w) x 1600(d)mm to accept the specially made food trolleys used by the kitchen team.

Key elements are:

  • Concertina Landing Door – To ensure no impediment into the service area floor space.
  • Car Picket Gate – Protect contents from falling from the lift car during transportation.
  • Lift Car Shelf – To provide convenient surface space for smaller items in transport.
  • Floor Level Loading – Food trolleys are easily and quickly loaded into the lift car.

Custom-made to your requirements – Tailored model

Finally, another unusual aspect of the design of both lifts is the position of the winding unit. Due to an existing restriction to the standard headroom, the winding units are positioned within a void above the roof. A specially engineered checker plate floor is incorporated into the lift structure to provide safe access.

“Our busy kitchen needed something robust and reliable, and we have that with our BKG lifts.” Steve Brown, Clerk of Works – Christ Church College.


We hope this Christ Church College case study provides insight into how we can assist you with your next new lift project. If all this talk of sourcing lifts has got you thinking that you could benefit from some expert guidance – get in touch!

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