Thursday 3 August 2017


In the 1990s Middlewich Heritage Society commissioned a number of metal plaques to be affixed to various buildings and features of historical interest in the town. Here's one of them, photographed in August 2011, which you will find on the front wall of Salinae, the day care centre and clinic in Lewin Street/Wych House Lane. So why photograph for posterity something which is itself designed to label Middlewich's heritage for the same purpose?
A couple of reasons, actually. Firstly, if you're a Middlewich resident or visitor it's relatively easy to wander about and take in the sites of interest and their accompanying plaques. But what if you left Middlewich many years ago and have found it difficult, or impossible, to get back here? What if you've (horror of horrors) never even been here? We hope the inclusion of these plaques will help fill these gaps and let everyone see via the internet what some of us can see whenever we want to.
We have, by the way, people all over the world looking at 'A Middlewich Diary', including avid followers in America, Canada, Spain, Germany, Sweden, and, intriguingly, Taiwan and  The Phillipines. A lot of these will be exiled Middlewichians, but some will have just stumbled across us by accident. How nice to be able to show all these people what used to be in Middlewich (and, equally importantly, what's here now).
And secondly, permanent as these plaques are, or appear to be, what happens if (God forbid) someone pinches one? What happens if a particular building is altered and the plaque is removed and someone loses it or 'forgets' to put it back? Presumably the Heritage Society has records of the plaques, and probably photographs and drawings too, but including them here is an additional safeguard.

Salinae 2nd August 2011

The culmination of those 600 years of salt making on the site was the Seddon's Wych House lane Works, which closed in 1967 but was still largely intact when this somewhat damaged slide was taken in 1969. The Salinae Clinic and its lawned area are where the salt works stood. In the foreground is the site now occupied by Andersen Boats and Wych House Lane ran (and still runs) down from Lewin Street to the canal alongside the salt works wall. Andersen's site was itself used for salt manufacture in the past. The grey brick construction in the centre of the picture is a column which once supported one end of a brine pipeline spanning the canal and River Croco. A full description of this photo can be found here

First published 3rd August 2011
Updated and re-published 3rd August 2017

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