Lion Salt Works

photograph of a steaming salt-pan simulation at Lion Salt Works
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In 1986 the Lion Salt Works closed after the collapse of the West African salt market. It was purchased by Vale Royal Borough Council to prevent its demolition. A charitable trust has been established and a project is now underway to restore the site as a working industrial museum, demonstrating the production of salt by the ancient method of open pan evaporation.
A Stage 1 pass of £4.96m was given to the project by the HLF. The Trust is now seeking to raise £2m in match funding to submit a Stage 2 bid.

Venue Type:

Museum, Industrial heritage site

Opening hours

Daily 13.30-16.30

Admission charges

Donations welcomed - suggestion of Adults £1.00 Children and OAP's 50p

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Industry, Science and Technology, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • History of salt production by the ancient method of open pan evaporation.
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Salt at Lion Salt Works Museum

Virtual reality dance experience tells history of Lion Salt Works Museum

  • 1 December 2017 — 1 May 2018 *on now

A new virtual reality experience will open at Lion Salt Works Museum on 01 December 2017 as part of the museum’s collaboration with renowned dancer and choreographer, Martin Hylton.

Funded by Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund, Salt is a fully immersive dance piece, presented in 360° virtual reality, reflecting the gruelling work that was involved in producing salt at the UK’s only remaining open-pan salt works.

Part of Meeting Point2, a year-long project led by contemporary art agency Arts&Heritage that sees artists partner with museums in Yorkshire, the North West and the North East to produce new artworks inspired by the museums and their collections, Salt gives visitors the chance to step into the artwork for a truly unique experience.

Chorographer Martin Hylton said: “Looking at the archive material at Lion Salt Works Museum, I was really struck by the movement and physical, hard work involved in raking the salt from the pans.

“The process the workers went through really lends itself to choreography and dance; the laboured and heavy movement involved in ‘skimming’ the salt into tubs.

“The piece I’ve created reflects that hard, physical work and by filming it in 360° virtual reality, the viewer can be completely immersed in the moment. People will get a sense of what it would have been like to work in the factory.”

Visitors to the exhibition will be provided with a virtual reality headset to view the dance piece which is set inside a salt pan. Dancing in water, representing the brine used in the salt making process, dancers capture the physicality of the manufacturing process whilst bringing Lion Salt Works Museum’s unique heritage to life.

One of the four historic open-pan salt-making sites in the world and recognised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Lion Salt Works Museum opened as a major visitor attraction in 2015 following a £10m restoration and redevelopment. It tells the story of salt through fun, interactive displays including a sound and light show, a ‘subsiding house’ and an automaton.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, Cheshire West & Chester Council, said: “We have a strong background of working with artists and we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to tell the story of salt and Lion Salt Works Museum itself.

“Martin Hylton’s use of 360° filming and virtual reality is something we’ve not done before and I’m sure it will bring the museum experience to life for people visiting us during the exhibition.”

Timandra Nichols, director at Arts&Heritage said: “Martin’s innovative ideas around dance and use of new technology make this a very exciting commission.

“It’s helping to push the boundaries of choreography and transform what we think of a traditional museum experience.”

Salt, part of Meeting Point2, is on display at Lion Salt Works Museum from 01 December to Spring 2018. For more information visit,

Funded by Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund and led by contemporary art agency Arts&Heritage (, Meeting Point2 presents artworks in unexpected places and supports small and medium scale museums to commission artists, who will create a piece of work in response to the venue.

For more information about Meeting Point2, visit

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adult £6.25
Concession £5.50
Child £4
Family 2 adults + 2 children £16.40
Family 1 adult + 3 children £14.60
Concession Family 2 adults + 2 children £15.20
Concession Family 1 adult + 3 children £14

Adult Annual Pass £18 valid for 12 months from date of issue
Family Annual Pass (2 + 2 or 1 + 3) £50 valid for 12 months from date of issue

Concessions are OAPs, Jobseekers, or Students. Children are aged 5 – 16


Lion Salt Works
Ollershaw Lane

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014




01606 41823


01606 41823

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.