yellowbear

15 Dec 2011 104 views
 
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photoblog image The Salt works

The Salt works

Production of salt in Droitwich ceased in the 1920's but the memory lingers on.


 

Historical Records of Salt Springs

 

Historical maps and records of salt areas often reveal the locations of brine springs through their place names. In Roman times, sources of salt were noted as Salinae and in Medieval times the locations of salt springs were indicated by the suffix wich or wyche. Many of these places were further differentiated so that, for example, in Cheshire, the towns of Nantwich, Middlewich and Northwich were established. Nantwich refers to the named wich (Nametwilhc in 1194), Middlewich to the middle wich and Northwich to the northern most wich. Likewise in Droitwich the different springs were individually named as Netherwich, Middlewich and Upwich corresponding to their places in the town and lower, middle and upper locations along the River Salwarpe (possibly derived from the Roman name of Salinae). Many other places include wich or wyche as prefix or suffix, such as the administrative district for Droitwich is Wychaven.

 

Although little evidence remains it is documented that the natural brine springs at Northwich were used in pre-Roman times. At Droitwich a possible Iron Age brine boiling hearth was excavated at the site of the Upwich brine spring and probable remains of Iron Age salt pits were found nearby. The Roman remains at Upwich were extensive and showed a well-organised salt industry with a wood-lined well and a probable brine lifting structure. The importance of Droitwich as a salt producer in Roman times is indicated by its Roman name of Salinae, a name also applied to Middlewich and used for Saltzburg in Austria. Droitwich has been recognised as the Salinae noted in Claudius Ptolemy's Geography compiled in ca. 140-150 A.D., and as the place named Salinis noted in the Ravenna Cosmography compiled soon after 700 A.D. The Roman names and archaeological evidence indicate that brine was flowing to the surface at Droitwich, Middlewich and Northwich since before the start of written history. The Early Medieval period or Dark Ages is poorly documented, but one of the earliest references to Droitwich salt was in 716 when King Ethelbald granted a salt pit on the south side of the River Salwarp to Evesham Abbey. Salouuarpe (Salwarpe) was also mentioned in 817 and brine springs and salt furnaces were recorded at Droitwich in 816 and 906. In 962 A.D. Bishop Oswald granted Beonetlaege (Bentley) four salt pans at Upwich (Droitwich) and enough woodland at Bradanlaege (Bradley) to fuel them. Wychbold was mentioned in 692 and Saltwic (Droitwich) in 884-901.

 


 

The Salt works

Production of salt in Droitwich ceased in the 1920's but the memory lingers on.


 

Historical Records of Salt Springs

 

Historical maps and records of salt areas often reveal the locations of brine springs through their place names. In Roman times, sources of salt were noted as Salinae and in Medieval times the locations of salt springs were indicated by the suffix wich or wyche. Many of these places were further differentiated so that, for example, in Cheshire, the towns of Nantwich, Middlewich and Northwich were established. Nantwich refers to the named wich (Nametwilhc in 1194), Middlewich to the middle wich and Northwich to the northern most wich. Likewise in Droitwich the different springs were individually named as Netherwich, Middlewich and Upwich corresponding to their places in the town and lower, middle and upper locations along the River Salwarpe (possibly derived from the Roman name of Salinae). Many other places include wich or wyche as prefix or suffix, such as the administrative district for Droitwich is Wychaven.

 

Although little evidence remains it is documented that the natural brine springs at Northwich were used in pre-Roman times. At Droitwich a possible Iron Age brine boiling hearth was excavated at the site of the Upwich brine spring and probable remains of Iron Age salt pits were found nearby. The Roman remains at Upwich were extensive and showed a well-organised salt industry with a wood-lined well and a probable brine lifting structure. The importance of Droitwich as a salt producer in Roman times is indicated by its Roman name of Salinae, a name also applied to Middlewich and used for Saltzburg in Austria. Droitwich has been recognised as the Salinae noted in Claudius Ptolemy's Geography compiled in ca. 140-150 A.D., and as the place named Salinis noted in the Ravenna Cosmography compiled soon after 700 A.D. The Roman names and archaeological evidence indicate that brine was flowing to the surface at Droitwich, Middlewich and Northwich since before the start of written history. The Early Medieval period or Dark Ages is poorly documented, but one of the earliest references to Droitwich salt was in 716 when King Ethelbald granted a salt pit on the south side of the River Salwarp to Evesham Abbey. Salouuarpe (Salwarpe) was also mentioned in 817 and brine springs and salt furnaces were recorded at Droitwich in 816 and 906. In 962 A.D. Bishop Oswald granted Beonetlaege (Bentley) four salt pans at Upwich (Droitwich) and enough woodland at Bradanlaege (Bradley) to fuel them. Wychbold was mentioned in 692 and Saltwic (Droitwich) in 884-901.

 


 

comments (14)

Really like the treatment and perspective in this Bill!
Bill Phillips: Thanks very much fred
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 15 Dec 2011, 02:44
The pic has a lovely, crusty, industrial twiddle look about it Bill...is that from the salt?
Bill Phillips: Everything in Droitwich is salt encrusted, especially the people
This might otherwise be a not so interesting photo of an old building- but your treatments makes it very almost pretty, and the narrative is most interesting! Who knew? Salt!
Bill Phillips: I hope you now know what an ancient place i live in grin
  • Chris
  • England
  • 15 Dec 2011, 07:03
For reasons we won't go into here I have been to all these Wychs over the last year or so. I think you should lead a crusade to resume the mining of brine in Droitwich: I've got a mate up in Cheshire who will love to help!
Bill Phillips: I don't think you mine brine.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 15 Dec 2011, 07:39
Very interesting and very sad (Demolition!) -is there not any chance of survival? What might Stanley say?
We have a few 'Salinen' near my hometown where you can go along -and I can confirm that they are very healthy to cure a cold, a bronchitis...
Bill Phillips: I used to love the brine baths here and wish they were still open. wonderful for aches and pains!
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 Dec 2011, 09:45
Not sure that the dark ages of photomanipulation does anything a conversion to B&W wouldn't. Some nice light on the building and an interesting foreground. Why not let Mr Pig have a go!?
Bill Phillips: I downloaded a free trial of the latest Topaz so thought I would make the most if it! Just wait until you see what Mr Pig has in store for next week
Detailing risky Edition. good composition. I really liked. a greeting.
Bill Phillips: Thank you very much
Why is salt not mines there now?
Bill Phillips: Salt was extracted as brine and basically became uneconomic. Droitwich basically floats on brine!
  • John Prior
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 15 Dec 2011, 12:49
Interesting shot and history Bill
Bill Phillips: Thanks John.
  • Chad Doveton
  • Where latitude and longitude meet.
  • 15 Dec 2011, 13:30
LOL @ Tiff, I cannot add anything, or rather, anythink I say you will just take with a pinch of ha ha ha ha ha where is Stan when you need him?
Bill Phillips: Gone to the great salt cellar in the sky
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 15 Dec 2011, 13:38
I wonder what will be built in its place; some hideous carbuncle, no doubt.
Bill Phillips: Several houses and "apartments"
A very interesting picture with a very good narrative Bill.
Bill Phillips: Thank you frances
Another bit of our history and heritage gone for good.
Bill Phillips: It won't be missed
Only because you keep reminding us

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