Lion Salt Works

Useful Information

Location: At Northwich.
M56 J10 follow A559 to Northwich, after 9 km in Marsden on the left side. M6 J19 follow A556 to Northwich towards city center, at first roundabout turn right into New Warrington Road, after 1.5 km on the right.
(53.275402, -2.495047)
Open: All year Mon-Thu, Sat, Sun 13:30-16:30.
Fee: Donations welcomed [2007]
Classification: MineSalt Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Address: Lion Salt Works, Lion Salt Works Trust, Ollershaw Lane, Marston, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6ES, Tel: +44-1606-41823, Fax: +44-1606-41823. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1842 Thompson family starts producing salt.
1894 Lion Salt Works established by the Thompson family.
1986 closed due to the Nigerian civil war.



Lion Salt Works was the last producer of block salt in Britain when it closed in 1986. At this time the Nigerian civil war caused the loss of West African markets, which were major purchasers of natural salt. It was established in 1894 by the Thompson family. After 92 years, in their ownership for five generations, the era ended.

The Lion Salt Works are typical for family works: a place to collect, concentrate and evaporate the brine. This technology did not change over millennia. The Romans used lead pans to concentrate the brine, the Medieval salt makers still used similar techniques. There is a huge brine tank holding 120,000 liters of brine. Three pan houses existed to evaporate the brine, the oldest one in 1894. Later in 1899 two more pan houses were built, on at the canal to receive coal from ships, one at the road to receive coal from the railway siding. Much later two more pan houses were built. The result of all those different building is a kind of ramshackle appearance. Other buildings are pump house, winch, boiler house, and smithy. There was originally a hotel on this place, called the red Lion Hotel, which was later transformed into the Red Lion Inn.