Salt Museum

Useful Information

Location: Northwich
Open: JAN to JUL Tue-Fri 10-17, Sat, Sun 14-17.
AUG Mon-Fri 10-17, Sat, Sun 12-17.
SEP to DEC Tue-Fri 10-17, Sat, Sun 14-17.
Bank Holiday Mondays 10-17.
Closed 24-Dec to 26-DEC, 01-JAN.
Fee: Adults GBP 2.50, Children GBP 1.20, Concessions GBP 2, Family (2+2) GBP 6.
Groups: Adults GBP 2.
Classification: MineSalt Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Address: The Salt Museum, 162 London Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 8AB, Tel: +44-1606-41331, Tel: +44-1606-40394, Fax: +44-1606-350420. 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.
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Roman Times lead salt pans used to extract the salt from the brine.
1670 Smith-Barry family looking for coal in the grounds of their house accidentally discover rock salt.
19th cty mining replaced by solvent extraction.
1889 library and museum donated by Thomas Ward and John Brunner, two local salt proprietors.
1909 mine subsistence caused the building to collapse, new library and museum built.


The Salt Museum in Northwich is the first and still the only museum about salt mining in Great Britain. It was established together with the library as a donation by Thomas Ward and John Brunner. They were local salt proprietors who felt that Northwich needed something to show its importance. At this time Northwich was dubbed salt capital of the world, obviously a bit arrogant. But it was of great importance as Cheshire is the only place in Britain where salt is produced on a large scale.

The Museum was originally in the same building with the Northwich library. This building subsided as a result of the salt extraction, so a new one had to be built. In 1909 the museum and the library moved into the new building. Weaver Hall was built in 1839 as Northwich Union workhouse to a standard design by George Latham. Later it became Weaver Hall Old People's Home, until in 1964 many of the workhouse buildings were demolished. In the 1970s the Cheshire County Council acquired it and started a major renovation. In June 1981 the museum moved into this new building where it is still located. The library remained in the old building form 1909.

The collections concentrate on Cheshire's past, the story of the River Weaver, the production of salt during more than 2,000 years, and the 14,000 uses of salt. It shows original artefacts, models, re-constructions, old photographs, and paintings. Large scale 19th century Ordnance Survey maps of central Cheshire can be consulted. There is a photographic archive of over 4,000 images.