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LION SALT WORKS

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The Lion Salt Works, built in 1894, located immediately south of the point where Ollershaw Lane crosses the Trent and Mersey Canal, was the second salt works to be located here. In 1856 John Thomposon and his son, also John Thompson, erected a salt works which be 1874 was known as the Alliance Salt Works (SJ 67 NE 16). In 1888 the Alliance Works was sold to the Salt Union, but following disagreement between John Thompson and the Salt Union, John and his son Henry Ingram Thompson dug a new brine shaft, later to form part of the Lion Works, adjacent to the Alliance Works. The Alliance Works ceased operation after its shaft collapsed in 1898. By contrast the Lion Works expanded and by 1900 three fine pan houses used for making common salt had been constructed, together with stove houses, a brine tank, smithy, salt store, office, and four common or fishery pans used for making coarse salt. In 1947 the four common pans were demolished and replaced by a new fine pan, Pan House No. 4. A new bore with a steam engine and boiler replaced the earlier brine shaft. In 1958 Pan House No. 5 was erected. Two years later Pan House No. 2 was refurbished by constructing a mechanically raked pan, Pan No. 1 was demolished, and a submersible electric brine pump was installed into a new brine bore hole drilled close to the first shaft. The Lion Salt Works closed in 1986 due to the loss of its main markets in West Africa during the civil war in Nigeria. When it closed it was the UK's last surviving open pan salt works that produced white salt by the evaporation of wild brine. It is now one of only three left in the world - the others are the Colorado Salt Works, South Park, in the USA and the Salins-les-Bains salt works in France. Scheduled.

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