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Making of Salt at Nampt
wych, in Cheshire.
SHE Salt Spring, or (as they call it) the
Brine Pit, is near the River, and is so plentiful, that were all the Water boiled
out that it would afford (as they told us) it would yield Salt enough for all England. The Lords of the Pit appoint how much shall be boiled as they see Occasion, that the Trade be not clogged.
Divers Persons have Interest in the Brine-Pit, so that it belongs not all to one Lord; some have one Lead-walling, some two, some three, fome four, or more. N. B. A Lead-walling is the Brine of twenty-four
Hours boiling for one House. Two hundred and fixteen Lead-wallings, or thereabout, belong to all the Owners of the Pit. No Tradesmen, Batchelor, or Widow, can rent more than eighteen Lead-wallings.
They have four sworn Officers chosen yearly, which they call Occupiers of Walling, whose Duty is to see equal Dealing between Lord and Tenant, and all Persons concerned. They appoint how many Houses shall work at a Time, and that is twelve at the most. When there is Occasion for Salt to be made, they cause a Cryer to make Proclamațion, that so all Parties concerned may put to their
Fires at the same Time ; and so when they shall • cease at a determinate Hour, at which they must give over; else they cause their Salt to be marred by casting Dirt into it, or the like.
There are in the Town about fifty Houses, and every House hath four Pans, which the Rulers are to see be exactly of the same Measure.
Salt-water taken out of the Brine-Pit in two Hours and a Quarter boiling, will be evaporated and boiled up into Salt. When the Liquor is more than luke-warm, they take strong Ale, Bullock's Blood, and Whites of Eggs, mixed together with. Brine in this Proportion; of Blood one Egg shell full, the White of one Egg, and a Pint of Ale and put it into a Pan of twenty-four Gallons, or thereabouts. The Whites of the Eggs, and the Blood, serve to clarify the Brine by railing the Scum, which they take off just upon the Boiling of the Pans, otherwise it will boil in, and spoil. the Salt. The older the Blood is, the better it is, cæteris paribus. They do not always put in Blood, viz. when there is Danger of the Liquor's boiling to fast. If the Liquor happens to boil too fast, they take, to allay it, Brine that had been boiled and drained from the Salt: Crude Brins, they say, will diminish iheir Salt. The Ale ferves, they said, to harden the Corn of the Salt.
After one Hour's boiling, the Brine will begin to Corn: Then they take a small Quantity of clear Ale, and fprinkle thereof into the Pan about one Egg-hell full. [Note, If you put in too much, it will make the Broth boil over the Pan.] All the while before they put in the last Ale, they cause the Pan to boil as fast as they can; afterwards very gently, 'till the Salt be almost dry. They do not evaporate ad ficcitatem, but leave about a Pocele or Gallon of Brine in the Pan, lest K 2
the Salt should burn, and stick to the sides of the Pan.
The Brine thus sufficiently boiled and evaporated, they take out the Salt, and put it into Conical Baskets, (which they call Barrows; and in ther let the Water drain from it an Hour, more or less, and then set it to dry in the Hot-house behind the Furnace.
A Barrow, containing fix Pecks, is sold there for is. 4 d.
Out of two Pans of forty-eight Gallons, they expect seven Pecks of Salt, Winchester-measure.
Note, The House in which the Salt is boiled, is called the Wych-House ; whence may be guessed what Wych lignifies, and why all those Towns where there are Salt-springs, and Salt made, are called by the Name of. Wych, viz. Namptwych, Northwych, Middlewych, Droitwych. The Veffel whereinto the Brine is by Troughs conveyed from the Brine-Pit, is called the Ship. It is raised up out of the Pit by a Pump. Between the Furnace and the Chimney Tunnels, which convey up the Smoke, is the Hot-house, where they set their Salt to dry; along the Floor whereof, run two Funnels from the Furnaces almost parallel to the Horizors, and then arise perpendicularly ; in these the Flame and Smoke running along from the Furnaces, heat the Room by the Way.
At Droitwych in Worcestershire, the Salt is boiled in shallow leaden Pans. They first put in Salt-water out of the Brine-Pit.
After one Flour's boiling they fill up the Pan with Water that drains from the Salt set to dry in Bar
After a second Hour's boiling they fill up the Pan again with the fame.
In five Hours Space the Pan boils dry, and they take out the Salt.
In twenty-four Hours they boilout five Pans,and then draw out the Ashes. After the Ashes are drawn out, they put in the White of an Egg, to cause the Scum to arise, (viz. the Duft and Ash that fell into the Pans, while the Ashes were drawing out] which they take off with a Scummer. After four Hours they begin to take out the Salt; and once in twenty-four Hours they take out a Cake, which sticks to the Bottom of the Pan (which they call clod Salt) otherwise the Pan would melt. They told us, that they used neither Blood nor Ale. The Salt made here is extraordinary white and fine.
Anno 1670, A Rock of natural Salt, from which issues a vigorous, sharp Brine, was discovered in Cheshire, in the Ground of William Marbury, Esq; The Rock, which is as hard and pure as Allom,and when pulverized, a fine and sharp Salt, is between thirty-three and thirty-four Yards distant from the Surface of the Earth. Mountains of Foflile Salt are found in Hungary, Transilvania, Lithuania, &c.
The Manner of making Salt of Sea-Sand in
IN Summer-time, in dry Weather, they skim or
and Washes, that are covered at full Sea, and bare when the Tide is out, and lay it up on great Heaps.
Of this Sand they take and put in Troughs, bored with Holes at the Bottom, and thereon pour Water, as Laundreffes do upon Ashes to make a Lixivium; which Water draining through the Sand, carries the Salt, therein contained, down with it into Veliels placed underneath to receive it. So long as this Li
% 150 The Manner of making Salt. quor is strong enough to bear an Egg, they pouroni more Water;
fo foon as the Egg begins to fink,they cast the Sand out of the Troughs, and put in new.
This Water, thus impregnant with Salt, they boil in leaden Pans, wherein the Water evaporating, the Salt remains behind.
There is also ac Newcastle, Preston Pans, in Scotland, Whitebaven in Cumberland, and elsewhere,great Plenty of Salt made of Sea-water, by boiling, and evaporating in like Manner; wherein they make use of Oxes Blood.
As for these Accounts of preparing fome of our English Mineral, I dare answer for the Half of them, having seen them myself, many Years ago, in my Travels through England and Wales, and published them Anno 1674 ; fince which Time other Proceffes have been given in the Philosophical Tranfa&tions, which being more operose, may be useful to Undertakers of such Works, therefore we will refer to them.
For the Iron Works in the Forest of Dean. See Philosophical Transaktions, Numb. CXXXVII.
For the Tin Mines of Cornwal and Devonshire. See Numb. LXIX and CXXXVIII.
For Refining with Antimony, ibid.
Of Coal-Pits. See Dr. Plot of Staffordshire, Chap. III. Paragraph 31, 32, 34, 36, 37, 60, 61, 62.