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WAGGONWAY SALT PAN TO RETURN AT COCKENZIE HOUSE & GARDENS

We’re delighted to announce that our salt pan will soon be rebuilt at Cockenzie House & Gardens, and our living-history salt making displays will once again be a regular fixture in the calendar.


The new and improved pan will be constructed on the north side of the house following successful planning approval.


Making sea salt in Scotland is an historic industrial process which is intertwined with the history of Cockenzie & Port Seton, with a large complex (the biggest in Scotland) of 12 salt pan houses being operational here in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sea water is boiled in large metal pans, purified using egg white or ox blood (we use egg white), and then slowly simmered to extract salt crystals once the salinity of the brine is high enough.


The Waggonway Project recreated this process at Cockenzie House & Gardens in 2017, have since become the most experienced traditional salt makers in Scotland and have constructed another pan in Brora for the heritage project there.


The new pan will be more robust and will incorporate a brick-built ash pit element within the structure, increasing furnace and fuel efficiency. This design was developed in the late 18th century and was incorporated into the Cockenzie pans by the Cadell family in the 1780s, as recently discovered during Waggonway Project excavations at Cockenzie Harbour.


Ed Bethune, Waggonway Project Chair, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work in partnership again with Cockenzie House & Gardens to bring all the benefits of strong local community collaboration and heritage connections, which have been so successful previously. Making salt the same way as it was done in the 18th century is a really important educational resource and helps us tell the story of our local heritage in a unique way. Our thanks go to all those at CH&G who have worked hard to help make this possible.”


Marietta DiCiacca, of Cockenzie House & Gardens, commented: “It is going to be so good having the Waggonway back making salt – almost as it was two centuries ago.  We are looking forward to working with the Waggonway group during the summer and developing plans to retain the salt pan at the Auld Kirk”.



The pan at Cockenzie House will be operational by 1st June, and will regularly operate on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month thereafter.

 

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