North West (UK)

A Visit to Murgatroyd's Brine Pump

A Visit to Murgatroyd's Brine Pump
  • Date From 1st June 2023
  • Date To 1st June 2023
  • Price Free of charge, open to all.
  • Location Murgatroyd Brine Pump, Brooks Lane, Middlewich, CW10 0JG.


The last brine pump in Europe from the 1890s was in a very sorry state - overgrown with trees and vegetation, the building falling down and neglected for over 40 years. For 90 years it was a major source of raw material for the chemical industry but BP Chemicals stopped pumping brine in 1977.

Largely thanks to the heroic efforts of a local community group set up to save remnants of Middlewich’s salt industry, the pump has been renovated and featured in The Chemical Engineer.

During the visit the guides will provide descriptions of:

  • the geology of the region and its relation to the major salt deposits of Cheshire
  • salt making from pre-Roman times to the present day
  • a short history of the development of the salt works in Middlewich and background on George Murgatroyd, the entrepreneur who set up the business
  • why brine and its by-products led to the establishment of a multitude of chemical plants and other major manufacturing plants in Cheshire and South Lancashire
  • the history and operation of the brine pump and the associated salt works and soda ash plant
  • how a world leading electrolysis process was developed in Middlewich.

Middlewich Heritage Trust tour guides

  • Kerry Kirwan, Heritage Office
  • Mike Walton, Chair
  • David Nellist, Volunteer and Trustee
  • Steve Broadfoot, Volunteer and Trustee


18:00–20:00 BST.

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