1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Northwich

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NORTHWICH, a market town in the Northwich parliamentary division of Cheshire, England, 171 1/2 m. N.W. of London, on the London and North-Western railway and the Cheshire lines. Pop. of urban district, 17,611. It lies in a low open valley at the confluence of the rivers Weaver and Dane, and is the centre of the principal salt-producing district in the United Kingdom. In its narrow and irregular streets many of the houses are strongly bolted to keep them secure from the subsidences which result not infrequently from the pumping of brine. Despite these precautions many accidents have occurred; some of the houses have sunk or stand at fantastic angles, and in 1892 a portion of the High Street, which had subsided below the level of the Weaver, had to be raised 6 ft. Both rock salt and white salt obtained by evaporation from brine are exported. The amount supplied by the whole district, which includes the neighbouring town of Winsford 6 m. south, is about 1,500,000 tons annually. The white salt is shipped chiefly to America. The principal buildings are the church of St Helen, Witton, noted for its finely carved roof of the 17th century, a museum and free library and market house. The Verdin Park was presented to the town by Robert Verdin, M.P. for Northwich, in 1887. There is a considerable industry in the building of flat boats to convey salt to Liverpool, the river Weaver being navigable, and connected by a hydraulic lift, 1 m. from the town, with the Trent and Mersey Canal on a higher level. Rope- and brick-making, iron and brass-founding, chemical manufactures, brewing and tanning, are also carried on.