Lion Salt Works

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Review type

Things to do


Lion Salt Works

Date of travel

March, 2016

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Travelled with

Family including children under 16

Reasons for trip

We needed somewhere different to take the grandchildren so decided on Northwich in the heart of Cheshire.

Our first stop was the Lion Salt Works a new museum which shows how the country’s last open-pan salt making was run. It tells the story dating back 2000 years – there is even evidence going back to prehistoric times. The Romans in particular were interested in the area not only because of its strategic position but mostly because salt was very important to their society. Originally the salt was transported by pack horses and by river until the Trent and Mersey Canal was built.Whole families worked at the salt pans with the work being heavy and extremely hot.

The museum has recently won the Civic Trust 2016 Awards for conservation. It is full accessible with a lift and a hearing loop.We found that the children were interested i the interactive displays and there was also an outdoor play area fr them to let off steam. We also visited the cafe and shop while we were there. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays apart from Bank Holidays) we paid £15.20 for a concession family(2 seniors and 2 children).

With our admission ticket we were eligible for a 10% discount for the nearby Weaver Hall Museum. This museum is housed within the old Northwich Union Workhouse building. it is full of displays and tales about the history and industry of West Cheshire such as boat building, chemicals and mining. It explores the life of the paupers with films, artifacts, reconstructions and the schoolroom. It kept our grandchildre satisfied and was very interesting.

Northwich town itself is at the confluence of the rivers Weaver and Dane. Not far away is another point of interest – the 50-foot Anderton Boat Lift on the banks of the River Weaver Navigation and built to lift cargo boats to the Trent and Mersey Canal. The giant 3-storey-high structure is amazing and well worth a visit.

A major renovation project is taking place in Northwich. A 150-year-old swing footbridge over the Vale Royal Locks is being given a new lease of life by the Canal and River Trust. This is only part of the £80million Baron Quay development which is due to be completed this year. The whole area has been through a land stabilisation programme, which involved removing millions of litres of brine from the former salt mines.

Back in 1880, houses, shops and offices disappeared without warning during the Great Subsidence. In order to compensate the owners of the buildings affected, a special mode of construction was used, re-introducing the light timber framing of the Middle Ages. The buildings had “jacking points” incorporated, which meant that if the ground sank beneath they could be moved to a level position.

Every 2nd Saturday of the month there is an artisan’s market with over 100 stalls selling authentic and ethical goods. Earlier this year Northwich held a teenage market providing a platform for young people to perform and show off their handcrafted products.

Also one of the great advantages of a day trip to Northwich is the free parking throughout the town, so you can explore the area at your leisure!


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