This website is now an archive of the restoration and should only be used as a resource. Please visit the Lion Salt Works website for the most up-to-date information.

Welcome to the Lion Salt Works blog

The Lion Salt Works is a historic brine salt making site that is being restored and transformed into a unique heritage attraction. Led by Cheshire West and Chester Council, this £8million project will see the site reborn as a fascinating destination for tourists, day visitors and families and a valued resource for local communities, businesses and heritage interest groups.

Located in the village of Marston, close to the town of Northwich, the site lies adjacent to the Trent and Mersey Canal and is close to the historic Anderton Boat Lift. A substantial part of the site is a Scheduled Monument.

Restoration work has now started on the site, with an expected opening in spring 2015. The Lion Salt Works is currently closed to the public.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


Welcome all to this the first of my blogs on the Lion Salt Works.

Myself on site
I'm Chris Hewitson, and I've been appointed as the Lion Salt Works Project Archaeologist for the next two years during the restoration of the site before it opens as a visitor attraction and museum. I'll be your guide through the process of the restoration and hopefully explaining what we are doing on site, why and when.

After a career in archaeology in the West Midlands I've headed back up the M6 to the north to come and work on the project.

The Lion Salt Works from Ollershaw Lane
So what is the Lion Salt Works? Well for those of you who don't know it is the last surviving open pan salt works in the country. An open pan salt-making involves the artificial heating of brine (that's salty water) by coal or in the case of the Lion Salt Works oil at the end. Work ceased at the site in 1986 and since then it has been a museum. Details about the site and the project are on the Lion Salt Works project page.

By the canal
As well as the regular blog update we will be adding more photos, videos and explaining the work as the  project goes on showing how the restoration work is progressing. 

The story so far...

So what's been going on so far on site. Although the main part of the restoration work is a long way off some of us have been on site for a while now preparing the works.

For those of you who pass by Ollershaw Lane on a regular basis or live in Marston you will have noticed that the fencing has gone up around the site and along the canal towpath. Although at the moment it seems the site is being hidden from view, peep holes will be available so you can still see progress from the canal towpath.
John and Dwayne admire their handiwork in Pan House 3
Scaffolders from HT Scaffold have commenced propping the interior of Pan House 3. As you can imagine the buildings have seen better days and in order to work in the buildings they have to be secure. This involves building a 'bird cage' scaffold which will support the entire structure during restoration work.

Well that's all for now.

Please feel free to ask questions and I shall do my best to answer.

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