Fleece Pant

The present structure outside the Fleece is a reconstruction of an earlier pant, which was built around 1870. The original was demolished by a vehicle in 1953, and rebuilt by Alnwick District Council in 1993.

The original pant in this location was referred to as Fleece Pant. It was called a “dribble” because the water supply was poor. There is no reliable history to explain who Jimmy was. It has also been called “Jemmy’s Dribble”, and some claim that “Jemmy” was James Catnach, the printer.

The duke erected two pants in Bondgate in the 18th century. One was here, outside Bondgate tower. The other was near the present war memorial, at the top of Denwick Lane. The Denwick Lane one was moved further down the lane when the Tenantry Column was erected. The original pant here seemsto have been an octagonal structure. It was removed in 1873, after its replacement had been erected alongside. For a while the two existed side by side, and that is how they appear on the 1851 OS map.

Early photographs of the 1870 Fleece pant show a pillar in the form that was copied in the reconstruction. There seems to have been a pump handle on the north side (the Denwick Lane pant seems to have held a similar handle). There was a trough in front, and two spouts, one at a lower level which appears to be running continuously, and a larger, higher one, presumably operated by the handle.