Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse

Salt Museum

Useful Information

Location: 162 London Rd, Northwich.
M56 J10 follow A559 to Northwich. M6 Davenham Rounabout to Northwich, turn left on A556. Signposted.
(53.254203, -2.513672)
Open: All year Tue-Fri 10-13:30, 14-17, Sat, Sun 10-17.
Last admission 16:30.
Closed 24-Dec to 26-DEC, 01-JAN.
Fee: Adults GBP 3.70, Children GBP 1.90, Concessions GBP 2.60, Family (2+2) GBP 10.
Groups: Adults GBP 2.60.
Classification: MineSalt Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, 162 London Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 8AB, Tel: +44-1606-271640. E-mail:
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.


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 century mining replaced by solvent extraction.
1839 Northwich Union workhouse erected.
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.
1969 Weaver Hall designated Grade II listed building in the National Heritage List for England.
1981 museum moved to the former workhouse building at Weaver Hall.
2010 renamed Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse.


The Salt Museum, renamed Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse in 2010, 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 from 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.