Local archaeological artefacts discovered in the last two years as part of a community archaeology project run by Saltscape and the University of Salford will go on display at the award-winning Lion Salt Works Museum until November 13.
As part of their research, the community volunteers, led by The University of Salford and Saltscape, dug several test pits on the site and excavated the edges of buildings and an old canal arm as well as many artefacts of interest, including some leather shoes, now on display in the Lion Salt Works Museum.
The locations of the test pits had been carefully chosen from GIS surveying to compare the current site with historical maps, allowing them to identify various phases of development on site from the late 18th century – mid 19th century.
Saltscape project officer for the dig Caroline Foster said: “This has been a really fascinating dig and is the only archaeological excavation of a salt works in the country. It is a really valuable piece of our local salt mining history. It has been fantastic to work with such enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers and it would be brilliant to continue archaeological work on this site in the future as it feels like we have only scratched the surface of what there is to find.”
Cabinet member for communities and wellbeing Cllr Gittins said: “This exhibition explores the history around the Lion Salt Works in a very real ‘hands-on’ way.
“History is not a static thing, there are always new things to discover, whether this is by sifting through old records, or in this case quite literally digging the earth beneath our feet.
“For those of us who are not archaeologists, this is a fascinating insight into how archaeologists work, what they find and how it is interpreted.
“I am very grateful to the community project who spent so much of their time and hard work on this project.”
The Lion Salt Works Museum is one of the last open-pan, salt-making sites in the World and is an Ancient Scheduled Monument.
It tells the story of salt through fun, interactive displays and has won eight awards since opening in June 2015, after a four-year £10m refurbishment, including the National Lottery’s ‘Best Heritage Project 2016’.
The restoration by Cheshire West and Chester Council was made possible thanks to a £5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Parking is free but normal museum admission prices apply.
For more information contact: 01606 275038 or visit westcheshiremusuems.com.