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History of the Salt Way

The Salt Way may have formed part of a major trade route network from Droitwich to the south east. Salt routes were used for transporting salt from the Iron Age, and throughout the Roman and medieval period.

The Salt Way is thought to be one of several ‘Salt Ways’ radiating from Droitwich, in the Midlands. Salt appears naturally as Brine there, bubbling up from the ground at a concentration twenty times stronger than sea water. The result, after boiling off the water, is a much cheaper, purer and more desirable salt – a valuable and universally needed commodity.

The salt trade dates back to the Iron Age. Imagine a deeply wooded English countryside with no proper roads, where goods were transported mainly by pack horse or cart – the Salt Ways became important trade routes.

Roman Droitwich was known as ‘Salinae’ meaning ‘Salt Works’. The Romans even paid their soldiers in salt. The Anglo Saxons referred to these Salt Ways as ‘saelt straets’. The brine extraction and boiling industry established by the Romans flourished in Medieval times and was well documented in the Domesday Book.

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