LAST week we looked at the small village that is Rudheath. This week we look at the small village that is Northwich, known in Roman times as Condate, meaning confluence.

The town of Northwich is one of the three salt-producing towns, Nantwich, Middlewich and Northwich, each of them is included in the Domesday Book of 1086.

This book records that the area between the confluence of the Dane and the Weaver is the area in which salt was made.

No one lived in the Wich itself; the salt men lived in Witton Street which was a different area.

Northwich Guardian:

High Street, Witton Street and Crown Street, into Witton-cum-Twambrooks

The division between Northwich and Witton was where the junction of High Street and Witton Street is now.

Evidencing this is that the small road next to McDonald’s is still called Boundary Street.

In those long-gone days, there were no dwellings in Northwich except one; the only residential building was where the old Beehive pub now stands and is currently an estate agents. Roads with names like Applemarket Street and Swinemarket Street indicate places for trade.

Northwich Guardian:

Applemarket Street in the 1800s

The Bullring was where bulls were baited by dogs and there was a ring there for the bulls to be tied. That ring could still be seen in the 19th century, and the bulls would have a ring in their nose, and a rope would attach it to the bull ring.

The gap in the buildings there leading to the river was for fire access; it later housed the small Turks Head pub.

Northwich Guardian:

So in those olden days, Northwich stretched only from Boundary Street to the Bullring.

Across Dane Bridge was Leftwich, across Town Bridge was Winnington and Castle and beyond Boundary Street was Witton, once also called Witton-cum-Twambrooks.

Very similar to Winsford really where the only building was the Red Lion pub with Wharton on one side and Over on the other.

Northwich Guardian:

The Red Lion at the junction of High Street and Crown Street

All this changed in the late 1800s when the surrounding villages were incorporated into the town of Northwich although, the old names are still in use.

Witton-cum-Twambrooks was a far bigger area than the old Northwich but was not chosen as the name of the new conurbation.