Chester is a genuine Roman city, built four-square, within walls, which remain to this day.
The station here is only a temporary one, and will probably remain so until the completion of the West Cheshire line, which is to run from Northwich to Helsby, a small station of the Birkenhead Railway.
Northwich is the principal seat of the salt trade. The salt is worked either in the mines, 200 or 300 feet deep, under the gypsum, or produced from the brine springs. One of the largest, the Marston or Dale’s Mine, should be visited by the curious traveller, descended in three or four minutes by a shaft 250 feet deep, to the excavated chambers below, spread over 35 acres, the sparkling roof being supported by great solid salt columns 60 feet square. When Canning visited the mine, it was lit up with thousands of candles and blue lights, producing a most brilliant effect. The rock salt is variegated and dirty-looking, and was first found in searching for coal; which, according to geological rule, may be reached some hundreds of feet lower. That from the springs is evaporated in immense iron pans; at Droitwich 260,000 tons are annually made in this way. About twice as much more is produced by the rock mines. The Nantwich trade has declined.
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