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, 30 May 2013

May 2013 - Work in Progress

Work has progressed at speed in all areas of the site during the months of April and May. Within the historic core of buildings real change can be seen as the roofs have been removed and timber repairs undertaken. Elsewhere, the newly rebuilt Stove House 5 has shot up and is beginning to look like a building once more.

Rebuilding the flues in Pan House 3

The stove of Pan House 3 has slowly been repaired where it had begun to collapse on all sides.

The original flues that ran under the pan into the stove house (See Building a Pan House and building a Stove House http://thelionsaltworks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/how-tobuild-open-pan-salt-works.html) had collapsed. These were rebuilt entirely. 

The remainder of Pan House 3 wall that had been dismantled was rebuilt and steel lintels put above the existing doorways.

Removing the roofs and repairing the trusses

The roof of Pan House 3 and 4 have been removed. This involved carefully taking off the sheets. 

This has allowed the timber repairs of the roofs to progress. Many of the roof trusses have had to be patched repaired and whole elements replaced where they have rotted away.

New steelwork has been added to strengthen and support the original trusses.

Clearing Stove House 2

The ground floor of Stove House 2, was entirely redesigned in the late-1960s. This involved the insertion of an automated salt scraping and drying mechanism. Although not unique, (systems like this were built in Winsford), it was highly unusual as salt had begun to be made by the Vacuum Salt Process (still used today at British Salt, Middlewich).

The mechanism involved an automatic salt-scraper across the pan and a series of conveyor belts around the ground floor, which carried the salt into the warehouse. 

The salt passed slowly along the conveyor belts and was dried by hot air recycled from the stove in Pan House 2.

The whole of this area was covered in debris that had to be cleared prior to building work in Stove House 2.

Building Stove House 5

Stove House 5 was dismantled in 2009, in order that it could be entirely rebuilt as the new visitor and conference centre. This adopted the original location and plan but had a new concrete base (see March Update http://thelionsaltworks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/march-2013-foundations-and-wall-repairs.html).

The framework for the new structure was largely new but reuses the previous brickwork and wood frame and panelling throughout. The framework was built of steel off-site and brought to site like a giant ‘Meccano’ set. It was then constructed using cranes and cherry-pickers by a small crew of steelworkers in just one week.

Concrete was poured to create the first floor of the building.

Between the steel frames, breeze-block work has been built and this has been clad in brickwork, using the original bricks removed from Stove House 5 in 2009.

The original wooden frames of the roof have been stored in a large temporary building since 2009. they have been laid-out to be rebuilt in the new building.

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