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Hexham, Northumberland

Glover's Pant

Last Updated:

6 Jun 2024

Hexham, Northumberland

This is a

Pant, Drinking Fountain

54.973889, -2.105650

Founded in 


Current status is


Designer (if known):


Stands as monument, no longer in use

Hexham, which for a decent sized town, still features a ton of historical assets just dotted against the roadside.

One such is Glover’s Pant, located against Holy Island Cottage dated 1737. The age of the masonry is quite clear from the side elevation in contrast with the pant.

The pant was erected in 1858 as a drinking fountain for the populace, well before clean supplies of water could be obtained within the home. This particular fountain obtained its water from the Ladle Wells, and was funded and opened by Joseph Ridley Esq. He paid for both the structure itself, and the pipes to be laid from the water source to reach the pant.

It’s called Glovers Pant thanks to one of Hexham’s key exports - gloves, made from Hexham Tans. There was a factory directly next door, and a Glovers Place down the road which may have been workers housing. There’s an example of Hexham gloves in the Gaol.

The pant is no longer in use and does not flow, though I imagine the pipework is in situ.

Listing Description (if available)

II Dated 1858. Aedicule on north gable end of Holy Island Cottage. A low pitched pediment on each face. Central stone with cast iron finial. Ashlar with slightly raised corner piers, continued up as pediment stops. Rusticated base. Former carved stones reading "Glovers' Pant" and "1858" eroded and replaced by plain date panel above now disused drinking fountain.

This area was the centre of Hexham's tanning and leather industry as you can see on both of these maps shown. The 1860s map above illustrates the buildings around Holy Island Cottages were all dedicated to leather working one way or another - 2 tanneries, a glove manufactory and Tanners Row - undoubtedly workers housing. There was also a Glovers Place, Skinners Arms and Tanners Arms nearby which were glovers housing and public houses respectively. Another tannery and glove manufactory were located next to Hexham House.

Though lacking in as much detail, the 1890s map presents to us the name of the tannery firm - Hextol Tannery. This name is first mentioned in 1883 when Joseph Alexander & Co. were in charge seeking tanners at once in local newspapers.

The 1922 Ordnance Survey appears to show the industry has dwindled in the few decades prior. They are not labelled which you would expect from a roaring industry like the Iron Works, plus the Tanners Arms has closed down also by this date.


The pant in 2024 with a newly painted date. A panel was previously nailed over it, but it appears to have been removed in favour of the original inscription.


Holy Island Cottage, from the 18th century, adjoining the pant in 2024


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