The local salt-making industry developed from brine springs associated with the River Weaver. The name “Nantwich” is derived from the Welsh name “Nant yr Heledd Wen” meaning the stream of the white salt pit.
The Romans are known to have made salt in the area during the second and third centuries. Salt was then made in the town for the next 1600 years. By the end of Tudor times there were 216 salt-making houses drawing their brine from a salt pit known as the “Old Biot”, adjacent to the river.
An exhibition in the museum tells the fascinating story of salt making in the town. Visitors can examine a lead pan used by the Romans to evaporate brine and learn the story of the hollowed-out tree trunk, a “salt ship“, used in medieval times to store the brine.