The Lion Salt Works is a restored historic open-pan salt making site, in the village of Marston, close to Northwich in Cheshire. The site lies adjacent to the Trent and Mersey Canal, close to Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, and the historic Anderton Boat Lift.
Salt-making in Cheshire dates back over 2000 years, when the salt towns of Cheshire were first established by the Romans. Originally salt was extracted from the ground by a series of natural brine pits. In the 17th century the first of a series of mines were begun in the Northwich region but were exhausted around 1850. The exhaustion of the mined rock salt supplies resulted in a change to wild brine pumping. The brine was pumped out of the ground to supply the salt works based at the surface. By the late-19th century brine shafts and traditional open pan salt works dominated the area around Northwich, many controlled by the monopolistic Salt Union.
When exploring the site and its restored buildings, you will discover how the salt works operated and the impact of salt on mid-Cheshire’s people, economy and landscape. A visit will also set the scene for a wider exploration of the footpaths, waterways and attractions of the adjacent Northwich Woodlands (a 350 hectare area of vibrant and accessible parkland) and the wider Weaver Valley including the Anderton Boat Lift.
This £10.23 million project opened in June 2015 offering a fascinating journey through the life of the country’s last open-pan salt making site.