Green Batt Pant

9th century maps show the pant or pump opposite the Old School House, between the Police Station and St Michael’s Lane. At this position it could be supplied from the well that was located near Lisburn street, with the outflow piped down St Michael’s Lane. This corresponds to piping shown on the cholera map of 1849. It also means that this pant could originally have been part of a water supply to the market area which pre-dated St Michael’s pant – but this is purely speculative.

A location at the top of St Michael’s Lane is most convincing, but there are also reports that it was located behind the House of Correction (now the Youth Hostel), near Croft Place.

According to Tate it was built in 1753, which would make it one of the earliest pants in Alnwick, dating before St Michael’s pant, and even Clayport Pant.

Its removal was contrvoersial, and suggests that even after installation of mains water, the people of Alnwick maintained considerable affection for the old water supplies. Presumably they had a value in the neighbourhood as a social meeting place.

It is variously referred to as a “pant” or a “pump” in newspaper reports concerned with its removal.

Report in Alnwick Mercury October 21 1882

Green bat pump

The chairman read the analysis of Stevenson Macadam, Esq of Edinbro’ which showed that the water in this pump was unfit for household use.

Mr Ainsley said that this pump ought to be abolished

Mr W Turnbull said the pump had been used for a long time now, and had ever poisened anyone yet.

Dr Candleigh asked how he knew that

Mr Skelly said that knowing the feeling of the people about this district they should be very careful what they did away with. When these pants wee handed over to the board by the freemen it was with the distinct understanding that the board maintain them. He though the matter should be referred to the committee for consideration

Dr Candleigh said it was an axiom in Sanitary Science that what is not fit for public use should be done away with. They had before them a report from a gentleman who had given an impartial judgement and form that report it seemed they had got a public nuisance in this pump. They could not get over the analysis.

Mr Yeaman moved the the matter be referred to the Water Committee

Mr Jos. Archbold seconded.

Mr J Horsely as chairman of the Water Committee said he did not think it was a matter for the Water Committee to deal with, but rather for the board who had the analysis before them. He did not think the Water Committee could do anything more.

Mr Ainsley called the attention of the board to the fact that this well had been opened out and cleaned before the water was sent for analysis, and it appeared that after all the cleaning out the water was still unfit for domestic use.

Mr Yeaman said that he would add to his motion that the wate be not used in te meantime,

Mr Walby thought they might safely let the matter stnad over till next meeting.

On the motion being put there were 9 for and 4 against, whereupon it was carried.

A letter to the Board of Health, dated October 28th, 1882 reads:

Gentlemen we the undersigned inhabitants of Green Bat and the streets and lanes leading therefrom view with deep concern the bare possibility of being deprived altogether of the Green Bat Pant; and respectfully ask your board as the custodians of the said pant not to think of removing it; but rather that you will employ every available means to ascertain and remove the cause of contamination. we believe it will be found to be purely local and therefore removeable. It can be vouched for, that this pant has been used exclusively by different individuals for many years without detriment to their health, excepting about 10 years ago when the water became contaminated in consequence of a leak in a neighbouring sewer. On that occasion the board remedied the defect, and the water was alright again. Hoping you will take this petition into your favourable consideration. We beg to subscribe ourselves. Your obedient servants. (list of 230 persons living in the neighbourhood).

Leave a Reply