The Hidden Heritage project, part of the SWLP is probably the only recent project to directly address the influence of monastic control on the surrounding hinterland (see monastic orders). The project is looking at aspects of life and industry at Cultram Abbey including salt workings. Archaeological surveys of salt workings are planned although it is not known how many have medieval origins. Large-scale coastal surveys (Cranstone 2006) have identified potential salt workings along the Solway estuary although few have been investigated.
Brine springs occur in Cheshire and several towns (e.g. Middlewich, Nantwich) are known for salt extraction from the Roman period onwards. Excavations at Second Wood Street, Nantwich uncovered the waterlogged remains of a medieval salt–making complex, which has been recently published (Dodd et al 2014). This included the discovery of a log-boat or salt ship, along with six wooden barrels utilised in the production process. The wood for the boat is thought to have been felled around AD 1191 and may have continued in use until the 16th century, when salt production at Nantwich ceased (Dodd et al 2014).