Lion Salt Works Museum to hold Newcomen event | Knutsford Times

Lion Salt Works Museum to hold Newcomen event this October

By on September 21, 2018

Cheshire’s award-winning Lion Salt Works Museum hosts prestigious Newcomen Society’s Salt Symposium on Saturday 20 October

The prestigious Newcomen Society, the world’s oldest society specialising in the history of engineering and technology*, is to host a full-day Salt Symposium on Saturday 20 October at the multi award-winning Lion Salt Works Museum in Northwich, Cheshire. The day will feature experts talking about the technologies associated with producing salt and include talks on geology, salt production, transportation, ‘wild’ brine extraction and controlled brine extraction.  Held in conjunction with Cheshire West & Chester Council, the Lion Salt Works Trust and Middlewich Heritage Trust, the event costs £25 per person (including lunch) and takes place between 9.30am and 4.30pm. For tickets, go to (and follow the link to item on The White Salt Industry) or go to

Newcomen Society Vice-president, Jonathan Aylen, said: “We are delighted to be holding our Symposium at the Lion Salt Works Museum. It is an outstanding historic site and one of the only sites in the world showing the fascinating process of open-pan, salt-making. This symposium is a wonderful opportunity to get an insight into the fascinating and little understood technology for extracting salt from beneath the Cheshire Plain.”

“We hope that some of those attending will have personal reminiscences or family stories about the salt industry. If so, there will be someone to talk to on the day and we can arrange more time to record the information at a later date.”

The Symposium will review the geology of the saltscape, the history of subsidence due to ‘wild’ brine pumping and refer to the challenges posed to the HS2 high speed rail line as it passes through salt country. As part of the day there will be talks about historic production processes and transport as well as the technology behind pumping ‘wild brine’ at the Lion Salt Works and at Murgatroyd’s in Middlewich. Bringing the salt story up-to-date, there will be a talk about modern ‘controlled’ solution mining technology; how it was developed in the early 20th century at Preesall near Fleetwood and how it is deployed in Cheshire today.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, Cheshire West & Chester Council, said: “This is a really fascinating chance to understand the technology and engineering that underpins the salt industry in Cheshire. For thousands of years, salt has been a crucial Cheshire industry that has had a huge impact on the county’s industry, people and environment. I know that everyone attending this symposium will come away with a new perspective on the county.”

Lion Salt Works tells the story of salt through fun, interactive displays including an impressive sound and light show, ‘subsiding house’ and automaton. One of the last open-pan, salt-making sites in the world, the Museum is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument with the same status as Stonehenge and Hadrian’s Wall. The Museum has won nine awards since its four-year, £10m restoration in 2015, including winning 2016’s National Lottery’s ‘Best Heritage Project 2016’ after a public vote and the Sandford Award for teaching excellence. The Museum is also a Children’s University Learning Destination.

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email

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