The Lynton and Lynmouth cliff railway connects the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth. Lynton was built on flat land 600 feet above the fishing village of Lynmouth. Until the cliff railway was built the only way to get between the two villages was a very steep road.
In 1890 the cliff railway designed by George Marks opened enabling tourists who were landing in Lynmouth to easily get to Lynton. Originally it had been proposed that the railway could be powered by a stationary steam engine but by the time it was built it was powered by a far more ingenious and environmentally green method.
The method of power that moves the two carrages up and down the 862 foot long track is water. While the cliff railway itself isn't unique the fact that it is entirly powered by water is. The principal of moving the two carrages up and down the tracks is a simple one, it's all a matter of balance. The two carrages are connected by a cable and when one is up the other is down. All that is finally needed is to make the upper carrage heaver so that it goes down pulling the other carrage up. This is done with water.