IN 1828, Northwich was described as an ancient market town in the parish of Great Budworth and was situated at the conflux of the rivers Dane and Weaver.

It is one of the great thoroughfares between Liverpool and London and between Manchester and north Wales via Chester.

The streets of old Northwich were described as being without uniformity, and many of the houses were quite ancient.

Northwich Guardian:

It acquired its name due to being the most northerly of the three witches, the other two being Nantwich and Middlewich.

Not yet a parish in its own right, St Helen's church was then the parochial chapel in the township of Witton.

The subsidence had not then occurred and upwards of one hundred thousand tons of salt from the brine springs and mines beneath the town were sent down the River Weaver annually.

In the mid-1800s there were 61 salt mines in and around Northwich, and at that time one of the principal salt mines was The Dunkirk mine at Wincham where brine was pumped, and salt was mined since 1777.

Northwich Guardian:

The Adelaide Mine at Marston owned by Joseph Verdin’s company discovered that there was a profit not just in salt, but as a tourist attraction. Local people were allowed to view the spectacle, and Grand Duke Michael of Russia visited.

The mine covered an area of 10 acres and formed a huge cavern, similar to the Winsford salt mine today. This allowed as many as 900 people to dance the night away, albeit that it had taken a while to get them all down there.

Northwich Guardian:

In 1844, it was illuminated with more than 10,000 candles when it was host to Emperor Nicholas of Russia together with The Royal Society of England for a banquet.

This huge banqueting hall sparkled in orange light from the walls, floors and ceiling and the many twinkling candle lights — all 130ft below the surface of Marston.

This huge mine and others were excavated by men using mattocks, these are tools similar to a pick-axe and can be found crossed on the crest of Witton Albion FC.

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The mine was situated below what is now the lake in Ollershaw Lane and in 1928 this underground spectacular and working mine suffered as many Northwich mines suffered, through being flooded by water.

The only casualties were three pit ponies, and the mine eventually collapsed upon itself, leaving the lake to appear above.

As well as salt production, Northwich was also on the coach routes. Every afternoon at 2pm The Royal Sovereign called at the Angel in the Market Place then travelling through Middlewich, Sandbach and many other stops to London.

Northwich Guardian:

From the same hotel, every morning at 9.30am, the Rocket stopped to pick up passengers before continuing to Birmingham.

The Crown in Crown Street was the stop for the Manchester to Chester coach, The Victory.

Northwich Guardian:

Then in the afternoon, The Dart stopped en route to Chester. During the rest of the day, coaches for Macclesfield, Nantwich, Manchester and Liverpool also stopped.