Down Your Way

Thu 23rd July 2015 1.44PM

Mid Cheshire author and historian Paul Hurley traces the history of a famous Northwich family

THERE'S Northwich family whose name can be found in many places in Mid Cheshire and elsewhere. The family goes by the name of Verdin and here we look at three notable members.
Robert Verdin inherited the family salt business from his father also called Robert and by 1880 the company Joseph Verdin & Sons was the largest salt manufacturer in Britain producing 353,000 tons of salt annually. The company had salt works and mines in various locations including Marston, Over, Wharton, Middlewich and Witton He was a Northwich businessman and politician. Robert Verdin never married and lived with his brother Joseph and sister Mary at The Brockhurst, a Regency house that is still there in Leftwich. He was a philanthropist and in 1886 he gave the house that is now The Victoria Infirmary to the town. He also gave Verdin Park and then the Verdin baths that were built on it. A statue in his memory is still there in Verdin Park. He died at The Brockhurst in 1887.
His brother Joseph, another partner in the family firm was also a prominent figure in Northwich's affairs and lived at The Brockhurst. He was made a Baron in 1896 and knighted in 1897. He gave the Technical Schools to Northwich and Winsford to commemorate Queen Victoria's Jubilee. Then with his brother William Henry Verdin he gave the Verdin Baths to Winsford. When the Salt Union was formed in 1888 it brought an end to the Verdin family business. Joseph bought and moved to Garnstone Castle in Herefordshire with his sister Mary, Like his brother Robert he never married and died in Herefordshire.
Then there was his brother as named above William Henry Verdin who was a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Cheshire, and High Sheriff in 1897. He lived with his family at Highfield House, Winsford and later moved to Darnhall Hall, Winsford, Cheshire, donating Highfield House to the town to become The Albert Infirmary.