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.

Friday, 9 November 2012

October 2012 - Rebuilding the Pan Houses

The pump house chimney turned red by an October sunset
As October passes the nights are drawing in. The early morning mist clings to the site to midday and the evening skies bleach the buildings red.

Rebuilding Pan House 4 Walls
The short wall along Pan House 4 is dismantled
With the scaffold complete, preparation starts to rebuild the walls of the individual buildings. Some walls have to be entirely taken down brick by brick. A foundation of concrete is laid and the wall built back up using the original bricks.
The collapsed wall of Pan House 4
One of the major tasks over the next month will be to take down the walls between Pan House 3 and Stove House 3; and the identical wall between Pan House 4 and Stove House 4. In order to rebuild it strong foundations were needed and the area was dug out through a mix of brick rubble and concrete to foundation level. The material was so strong breakers were needed to remove it.

The metal plate that carried up the wall:
note the decay caused by the salt
These walls between the pan and stove houses were both structurally weak. The culprit: large metal plates that allowed the flues to pass under the walls. They had become infiltrated with salt and decayed. The wall of Pan House 4 was in such bad repair it had partially collapsed.

 The excavation revealed for the first time in fifty years the remains of the flues that came out from the rear of the pans.
The area at the back (northern) side of Pan 4 revealed
for the first time in 50 years; four flues pass to Stove House 4

Clearing Pan 2
Around Pan 2, were the collapsed remains of the former pan house. These timbers have been carefully recorded and removed in order to make the area safe. 

On the north side of Pan 2: dense undergrowth had
hidden the broken skeleton of the former Pan House
Pan and Stove House 3
Other areas are built of timber and the planks. In Stove House 3 these are being removed in order to dismantle the wall prior to rebuilding it brick by brick in the same location. The timbers are being removed, propped and the rotten material replaced.
The gable end of Stove House 3 is propped  prior to taking the central wall down.
It has not just been a destructive process; the first walls of Pan House 3 have been rebuilt, brick by brick; the mortar carefully selected to match the subtle hues of the various mixes of mortar used on site.

A momentous moment: the first wall is rebuilt on site - so begins restoration

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