Wednesday, 14 September 2016

MURGATROYD'S BRINE PUMPS - The last of their kind

Heritage Open Days - 10 & 11 September 2016

The open day events were well attended with approximately 120 persons attending the guided walks and/or visiting the brine pumps site.

Thank you to all who attended and to the volunteers who helped on the day. If you would like to visit the site or take part on a tour on an individual or group basis please contact us via the email at the foot of this page

Thursday, 28 July 2016

MURGATROYD'S BRINE PUMPS - The last of their kind

Middlewich Heritage Trust is preparing to open the Murgatroyd’s Brine Pump site for this year’s Heritage Open Days in September. This National event enables us to take part in a network of UK events designed to inspire and offer something unusual for people to visit. We certainly have that; the last time the public were allowed on the Brine Pumps site was back in 1977!

The emergency phase 1 repairs project was completed earlier this year and the Trust has been working with Cheshire East Council to secure a lease for the Trust to move  forward    with a full restoration project.

For now the site has been stabilised and made safe, thanks to a grant from Historic England, with whom we continue to work.

September is about discovery. The aims are to lead a guided walk for those who want to learn about Middlewich’s 2,000 years of salt history. It will be a step back in time to look at the contribution of salt production to the town's evolution from the iron age via the Roman and Medieval phases to the 19th century, using the Brine Pumps as our final destination and to the present. The Pump house will be open and visitors will be able to see the work that has been seen, the remaining work and see a selection of the archives. The George Twigg Archive is based on Murgatroyd’s but also connects Middlewich with other salt products/producers and markets in the UK. The collection comprises pictures, books, objects, film, audio recordings and maps.

Entry to the pump site will be free and booking will not be necessary but persons who want to attend the guided tours will need to book in advance as numbers are restricted on each tour.

The site will be open on Saturday 10th September and Sunday 11th September, 1pm – 4pm on both days. Tours will start at the Victoria Building on Lewin Street at 1pm on both days, finishing at the Brine Pump in just under 2 hours

Parking for the pump site only on  is at Middlewich Community Church Car Park on Brooks Lane CW10 0JG.

Contact for the events: Kerry Fletcher 01606 833434

Thursday, 31 March 2016

MURGATROYD'S BRINE PUMPS - The last of their kind

Phase 1 of the project to save Murgatroyd's Brine Pumps is now complete after seven years of work by the Town's Heritage Officer and George Twigg, formerly Chief Chemist at Murgatroyd's - thanks to Historic England with contributions from Cheshire East Council and Middlewich Town Council. Hopefully, phase 2 (work on the shaft and minor repairs) will follow in the coming year. We are not quite at the stage of getting volunteers working on site but we will be opening the site for visitors later this year

If there are any of you out there who are interested in volunteering your time in the coming year we'd love to hear from you

Friday, 11 March 2016

MURGATROYD'S BRINE PUMPS - The last of their kind

The internal scaffold has been removed and brick supports have been installed for the gantry legs as a temporary support until more funding can be provided. The gantry still needs work around the footings which will form part of the internal structure around the well-head.

With only minor jobs to finish, the external scaffold will soon come down. The roof is now water-tight and the gantry has had some metal straps and plates fixed. So all looks in great shape - a distinct improvement over the state of the monument before work started..

If there are any of you out there who are interested in volunteering your time next year we'd love to hear from you

Friday, 19 February 2016

MURGATROYD'S BRINE PUMPS - The last of their kind

The roof and temporary flashings are now in place and the building is finally water-tight. Years of water damage have taken their toll on the structures but considerable progress has now been made to safeguard this monument for the future.

The internal scaffold will be removed by the beginning of next week and work can then begin within the building to stabilise the gantry. Gantry works are expected to continue for another week. Additional steelwork has been applied to the external gantry and this will continue inside the building. All pipework has been stabilised and secured.

When the Phase 1 work has been signed off, the scaffold will be removed and, during week beginning 7 March, the site will be fully inspected before being cleared and secured as the first phase of emergency works is completed. The building will then be temporarily sealed until phase 2 work can begin.

The structure above ground is now secured and stabilised and the Trust is delighted with the progress so far. However, the building will remain on the 'at risk register' until the completion of the second phase of repair works 

 If you would like to be involved with this project, please email

Thursday, 28 January 2016

MURGATROYD'S BRINE PUMPS - The last of their kind

Arrangements for the transfer of the pump site to the Trust have been agreed by Cheshire East Council based on the pump's place in the Town's heritage scheme and the Neighbourhood plan.

The emergency repairs project is almost at an end.

The monument had considerable deterioration and decisions had to made on the vulnerable areas by our Project Manager and his team. There is still work to do and we will be applying for more funding to resolve the remaining issues.

The joinery work is almost finished, timbers have been replaced where necessary or repaired; new frames for the windows and doors have been fitted and a new frame support for the side of the building. The roof plates and trusses have been finished and the brickwork repairs completed.

The corrugated metal roof has been measured up and will be fitted next week.

The water tank could not be saved and it is in the process of being dismantled, the remaining asbestos underneath the tank will be removed and the area covered.

The external pumps have been covered by a timber frame and protected from further damage.

News on the gantry will follow. 

If you would like to be involved with this project, please email