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.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Lion Salt Works Restoration - December 2013

 Towards the end of the year the first of the buildings are beginning to be completed.
The Historic Core

The Historic core of the works involves Pan Houses and Stove Houses 3 and 4, the Loading Bay and Stove House 2.

Pan House 3 structural repairs are complete and the roof has been replaced. This means the dense scaffold can be removed and the pan is visible once more for the first time since March 2012.

The final touches are put to Pan House 3 as the edges of the pan are rebuilt. John admires his handywork! 

The newly built Pan House 4 eastern wall is revealed clad in larch timber.

In Stove House 3 the roof panels have been stripped and repaired. The new roof panels put in place and the existing undulating ridge-line retained.

The scaffold has been removed and the first floor warehouse revealed for the first time in over two years. This has allowed repairs to begin on the warehouse floor. 

Repairs to the trusses allowed the lean of the roof timbers to remain in place - a testament to the sums of the structural engineer.

The final roof panels have been put on Stove House 4 meaning all the buildings in the south of the historic core are now water-tight. 

The scaffold has been removed down the eastern elevation and the perfectly repaired wiggly-wonky wall of revealed again.

The chimney in the Packing Area has been carefully repaired and a new metal cap put on top.

Repairs have begun in earnest on Stove House 2. This has seen the roof fully stripped of sheets. 

The steel-work has been built to support the stove house floor. The timber-work repairs are complete and the final repairs have begun on the roof panels. 

Peripheral Buildings

Repairs are almost complete on the Manager’s House with re-pointing of the brickwork, timber repairs and rebuilding of the chimney. The roof slates will be removed and re-felted.  

External repairs have begun on the Red Lion Inn. The brickwork has been re-pointed and new chimney stacks re-built.

Stove House 5

Stove House 5 is being transformed from an empty shell into a working, functioning building. As the scaffold has been removed the distinct form of the building is visible for the first time since it was dismantled four years ago in 2009. The weather-board cladding of the upper surfaces contrasts with the re-used original brickwork that forms the side of the Stove House.

The first-floor, conference facilities are visible as an open space for the first time with the open window views across the land to the east.

The ground floor is beginning to take shape as the electrical and mechanical services are put in.

Jordan Gregory (Wates Construction Site Manager) supervised the work on site.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

End - September 2013: Summer Turns to Autumn

The summer months are behind us now and the nights have begun to draw in. The first flurries of rain and autumn showers are passing overhead.

Progress at the Lion Salt Works has been steady since July. The first few buildings are nearing completion.

Pan House 3 and 4

Pan House 4 saw its roof replaced.  

Pan House 4 Roof
 The internal scaffold has been removed to reveal the open pan once more for the first time in over a year.

Pan 4 visible for the first time in a year

Pan and Stove House 4 Roofs
The finishing touches have been put to Pan House 3

The roof is put back on Pan House 3

Stove House 3

The roof has been stripped and work has begun replacing the boards that lay underneath where they had rotted.

Stove House 3 roof has been stripped

The roof boards are replaced

Stove House 4

Stove House 4 has seen the completion of the supporting structural steelwork. The original steel roof frame has been repaired where it had begun to rust.

The feet of the columns are cut away and replaced
Painting the repaired steel columns
Stove House 5

Stove House 5 is almost watertight.

Stove House 5
The roof is now complete.

The ridge of Stove House 5 looking east
Glazing of the eastern wall with its views along the Trent and Mersey Canal has begun.

The glazed eastern wall
The ground floor where the entrance foyer will be situated

The Pump House and Manager's Office

Work has begun to repair the fabric of the Pump House and the Manager's House.

The Pump House repairs begin

The boards are taken off the windows and repairs begin on the Manager's House

John and Andy take in the repaired Pan House 4

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

End July 2013 - Progress

The restoration of the Lion Salt Works has seen considerable progress in the last two months. 

Pan House 3 and 4

The timber roofs of Pan House 3 and 4 have been completed.

New walls have been constructed for Pan House 4 where they had been destroyed by fire.

The old roofs of asbestos had to be removed. These have been replaced with a new material design to replicate the look of the original roofs.

New steel footings have been added to the existing wooden columns.

The ditches that allowed brine to drain from the wooden hurdles along the sides of the pan have been re-laid.

Stove House 3 and 4
Concrete foundations have been laid to support a new steel framework.

The new steel frame has been inserted in the drying level below the warehouse of Stove House 3. This compliments the original cast-iron columns and reused railway lines that used to support the floor above.

The roof framework of Stove House 4 was built of metal. It has been entirely stripped of roof panels and then abrasively cleaned and painted ready for repair.

Stove House 1 (the Link Block)
The remains of Stove House 1 were precarious as it had collapsed over ten years ago in 2002. These remains have been dismantled to make this area safe for visitors.

Stove House 5
The Stove House has begun to take the shape of its original form.

The framework of steel has been filled with blocks and brickwork reclaimed from the original stove house dismantled in 2009.

The original timber framework of the roof, stored for 3 years has been reassembled and built in the upper part of the building, replicating the original design.