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Lion Salt Works, Northwich

4.5
#6 of 27 in Museums in Cheshire
Specialty Museum Museum
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.The 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
219 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The museum is very interesting and engaging. It's mix of audio visual displays, projections and the motion activated audio really brings the daily grind in a salt works to life. I went with a 7 year o...  more »
  • A great 2/3 hrs visit with friends George our guide was very good and told us all about the Lion works we will come again  more »
  • Great place for all the family. Well worth going. Good access and very informative. Good information on the local industry.  more »
Google
  • Great set up. For once we got to read all the info because they had our girls carry round a clip board to spot toy cats. Meant they had to pay attention to where they were as well. Brilliant play area outside.
  • Very informative guide to the production of salt throughout the ages. Much better than I expected.
  • Good cafe, friendly staff, nice play area both indoors and outdoors for the kids
  • Really interesting place & the restoration is a real credit to all involved.
  • Nice day out for kids and adults, has a place to eat and an outdoor play area too

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