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Evaporating legacies: Industrial heritage and salt in Cheshire, UK

Lageard, JGA and Drew, IB (2015) Evaporating legacies: Industrial heritage and salt in Cheshire, UK. Industrial Archaeology Review, 37 (1). pp. 48-61. ISSN 1745-8196

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Abstract

This paper examines the nature and legacies of the salt industry in Cheshire and recommends action to avoid losing an understanding of its fragmentary heritage. Brine and rock salt occurring in the natural environment has led to significant industrial development in Cheshire over the last two millennia. Technologies for salt exploitation have varied in scale and in location, and their ephemeral nature has often left few traces in the landscape. This industrial legacy contrasts with extractive industries such as coal which leave more tangible aftermaths - infrastructure and communities. Cheshire salt legacies include the unplanned consequences of subsidence, but also informal opportunities, for instance in nature conservation and recreation. Salt industry heritage in Cheshire is the central justification for the new Weaver Valley Regional Park which seeks to promote future social and economic well-being, but the salt legacies which delimit its area deserve sufficient recognition and wider communication.

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