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Pocket Guide: Northwich

The brine springs at Northwich are the source of the salt first extracted by the Romans. Salt mining started in earnest here in 1670, but it proved in the longer term an uneconomical way of getting the salt out of the rocks. By the 19th-century hot water was being pumped in to dissolve it, with the salt then being separated out from the brine. The downside to that was a lot of subsidence, but nothing stands in the way of profit. In fact this problem had to wait until 2004 for a solution, and there are still the occasional slumps.

The salt industry is still going strong in Northwich and you can see many aspects of its history in the town's aptly-named Salt Museum. This museum is based now in a former workhouse after the original museum sank under the ground because of (and without the slightest hint of irony) salt extraction!

Learn All About Northwich

Northwich has had a long and fruitful association with the chemical industry, as a centre for soda ash production in the 19th Century and later an HQ for ICI. Tourists also come to Northwich to see the famous Anderton Boat Life, the first of its kind in the world and still the only one in England. It was reopened in 2002 following restoration. See this and many other fascinating attractions when you're based at a nearby Cheshire hotel.

Explore Northwich's Surroundings

Cheshire is a county of open fields, gently rolling hills and historic towns and cities. Famous for its famous cheese and the numerous half-timbered Tudor buildings that litter its landscape, Cheshire is full of cultural and natural attractions. There are theme parks and zoos here, as well as towns with a striking industrial heritage such as Northwich. The suffix gives it away, and in fact the Romans were first attracted here by the area's brine springs, which is what the suffix refers to. The Romans were always adept as sniffing out water of all kinds for their baths, spas and under-floor heating, as you'll see when you stay at one of the many Cheshire hotels or guesthouses here.