St Michael’s Pant

Dates from 1755.

St Michael’s Pant dates from 1755 which makes it the second oldest surviving pant in Alnwick, after Clayport Pant, further up the road. In the past it was also referred to as the “High Pant”, in contrast to the “Low Pant” at the bottom of Pottergate.

The statue represents Saint Michael and the Dragon (the symbol of the Town). Water is still piped from higher on Clayport Bank. The fountain was restored by F.R.Wilson at the end of the nineteenth century.

According to Tate: An order was made in 1709 to bring water to the Market Place, but it was not till 1712 that the High Pant—the principal pant of the town—was erected, “att the Old Crosse called the Grasse Cross as the most convenient place.” It, however, was insufficiently supplied with water and fell into decay; but in 1752 the four-and twenty resolved to erect a new pant in the Market, near George Shepherd’s house; but this was not carried out till 1755, when the famous St. Michael’s Pant was built by Matthew Mills, at a cost of about £60, from a design by Mr. Bell, architect, for which he was paid £ 1 16s. The design is somewhat ambitious, in the Pseudo-Gothic of the period; it is a little square tower, adorned with carvings, and having two pinnacles at each corner, and surmounted with the figure of St. Michael killing the dragon, deftly but stiffly sculptured in stone. The water is continually running from a carved head, into a large reservoir out of which cattle may drink. James Johnson received £5 7s. 6d. “for carving the figure.” The supply is brought by pipes from fountains at the top of Clayport Bank, into which is conducted water from springs on Alnwick Moor. After the establishment of the Local Board of Health, the corporation very readily gave up to that representative body the custody of the pants.