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Lion Salt Works, Northwich

4.5
#6 of 35 in Museums in Cheshire
The Lion Salt Works is the last remaining open pan saltworks in Marston, near Northwich, Cheshire, England. It closed as a works in 1986 and is now preserved as a museum.HistoryJohn Thompson Junior and his son Henry Ingram Thompson, a member of a family that had been making salt during the 19th century, started the Lion Salt Works when he built a salt pan in the coal yard of the Red Lion Hotel, Marston, in 1894.Thompson familySix generations of the Thompson family were involved with the salt industry, at the site of the Lion Salt Works. John Thompson Senior (1799–1867) was originally a joiner, timber merchant and brickyard owner with premises on Witton Street and London Road in Northwich He entered the salt trade in 1842 when he started a shipping and lighting business along the River Weaver to the ports in Liverpool and Birkenhead. Initially this was in partnership with other salt proprietors but by 1846 he had entered a partnership with his son John Thompson Junior (1824–1899), called Thompson and Son that operated until 1889. They also occupied a timber yard and dockyard buildings in Northwich Castle on the River Weaver. The dockyards were sold to cover debts to W J Yardwood's in 1887.They began to sink salt mines and start salt works north-west of Northwich. Platt’s Hill Mine, Wincham, was sunk by John Thompson in 1843, and in 1846 was followed by the Dunkirk Works, in Witton-cum-Twambrooks. Several more salt works and mines followed over the next forty years in the districts of Witton, Marston and Wincham north-west of Northwich, and also in Winsford. After the death of John Thompson Senior in 1867, the business was split between John Thompson Junior and his brother Jabez Thompson. After initially running the Alliance Works in Marston (see below), Jabez Thompson went on to run the successful family terracotta and brickworks on London Road, Northwich. John Thompson Junior continued to run the salt business with his sons Henry Ingram (1851–1937) and Alfred Jabez (1857–1965). In 1888 the majority of the remainder of the business was sold to the Salt Union.
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Lion Salt Works Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
249 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This was our first trip to a salt museum. It was well designed and in great condition, there is plenty to see and do with a number of galleries with interactive exhibits. It is great value and offers ...  more »
  • The Lion Salt Works is well signposted with brown tourist signs. The museum has a large, well laid out car park. There is a bright, pleasant cafe, well appointed toilet facilities and a small gift sho...  more »
  • A fantastic museum and well worth the time to visit!! Lots of information about Salt production, and the history of the local area, wildlife etc! Nice butterfly garden and easy access to walk down by ...  more »
Google
  • Very interesting and informative. Much more to see and learn than I thought possible as the place looks small from the outside. We were there for approximately one and a half hours. Well worth every penny.
  • Visited The Lion Salt Works on 6th August with my family. The two children were 4 1/2 and 7. We had a great time. Something for everyone. It was very interesting and the staff were very friendly and helpful particularly with the children at the end. They handed in their 'find the cat' sheets and were pleased with the stickers. Excellent coffee in the cafe. Would definitely visit again with other members of the family.
  • Interesting place to visit for the whole family. The history of salt goes back a long long way. Nice cafe, good parking and pleasant staff.
  • Absolutely brilliant for an engaged 4 and 6 gear old. Lots to do before you even need to pay to get into the museum. Very friendly staff with real encouragement for kids. Incredible history and education in a fascinating and at times immersive and interactive style. Thank you Lion Salt Works staff!
  • It is so well laid out. You get a real feeling for what it would have been like. Lots of interesting information and life like exhibitions. Fascinating reading the architects report on how it was rebuilt. Lots of interesting things for children and good shop and cafe. Very enjoyable.

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