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.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

March 2013 - Foundations and Wall Repairs

Repairing the pan bases
The metal pans in which the brine was boiled [How to make salt insert link] rested on large brick bases called stoves. This was where the fire was lit. Unfortunately the weight of the pans caused the walls of the stoves to fall outward. Brick piers have been built along the sides of the pans by the Thompson Family but these have not prevented the walls collapsing outwards.

In order to repair the stoves it has been decided to sandwich them in concrete. Slabs of concrete are built either side and then they are held together by metal rods called cintec anchors.

The cintec anchors

The cintec anchors have been carefully drilled through the stove in several places. 

These are encased in a fabric and plastic sock and then encased in concrete themselves. Two slabs are put on either side of the stove walls connected to the rods by metal plates. These are tightened and this holds the walls of the structure together.

Excavating the footings for the stove house steel work

The stove houses have two levels: the drying level and the warehouse level [How to Build a Stove House insert link]. The warehouse floor is held up by rails supported by metal columns. Unfortunately the metal columns have corroded badly and cannot now support the floor above safely. Instead a whole new steel superstructure will be built to compliment the earlier rails. One of the jobs has been to build a new series of concrete strip foundations on which the whole structure will rest. This involved excavating narrow strip footings between the flues of the drying level.

Rebuilding the northern wall of Stove House 3

In 2002 the wall between Stove House 3 and Stove House 1 entirely collapsed. It had been weakened by parts of the structure being removed to make the warehouses one large space. Rain and water got into the structure through the leaky roof and it subsequently collapsed.

In order to support Stove House 3 at its northern end an entirely new wall had to be built. This reused the footprint of the original wall, which itself was part of a much earlier wall associated with the Red Lion Hotel http://thelionsaltworks.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-lion-salt-works-history-of-site.html.

Building Stove House 5 – The Concrete Base

After the completion of the excavation the work began on the construction of Stove House 5. Stove House 5 was dismantled in 2009 as it was in very poor condition. It was to be rebuilt using original materials combined with a new steel superstructure and would act as the visitors centre and conference facilities for the new museum. 

The first job was to build a large concrete raft designed to take the weight of the new building. The old building had been built on very shallow foundations and this was part of the reason why it had collapsed.


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