If you haven’t seen the Lion Salt Works since the restoration began in earnest 5 years ago you will be amazed to find how much has changed.
A visit begins in Pan House 5. This was the newest of the original pan houses and the one which was in the most precarious condition. With the help of a large grant from the European Manage+ Programme it has been rebuilt and now forms the main visitor reception area and coffee bar, and a first class conference facility.
From here the tour moves to the Red Lion Inn where there are exhibits describing the history of salt making, and a reconstruction of the manager’s office. Visitors meet the owner of the works who recruits them as new employees.
Entering pan house 1 the visitor is met by a blast of hot air from the furnace, and climbs up to the level of the pan which is wreathed in steam. An audio-visual display explains the salt making process.
The drying galleries come next, where the visitor cannot fail to be impressed by the scale and complexity of the structural restoration which has been achieved.
Next come the storage and packing areas where the story continues by means of an array of displays and inter-active exhibits.
The tour finishes in the first floor storage and loading area, overlooking the canal, where dramatic photographs show the impact on the local landscape of brine extraction. The opportunity is also taken here to tell the story of our unique local landscape, the Northwich Community Woodlands, an area now restored as part of the Mersey Forest, and providing a rich variety of habitats and enormous scope for outdoor recreation.
A visit to the Salt Works would not be complete without a tour of the Butterfly Garden, and for the children there is a fully equipped play area designed in consultation with the children of our local primary school.
At the end of your visit, those in need of further refreshment or a substantial meal can be sure of a warm welcome at the Salt Barge Inn opposite our gates.