This summer Robertson’s fountain is flowing again, thanks to a joint initiative by Alnwick Civic Society and Alnwick Chamber of Trade. It was originally erected in 1890 to commemorate a leading local figure, but no water has flowed for more than 15 years after pedestrians complained that they were splashed on windy days.
This was the last pant to be built in Alnwick, and the only one which is connected to the mains water supply.
Robertson’s wife laid the foundation stone on 3rd February 1891 and Earl Percy declared the fountain open on 8th June 1891 attended by the Northumberland Fusiliers band and a large group of freemasons. This time the ceremony was more low-key, but was attended by representatives of the Town Council, Chamber of Trade and Civic Society.
The pant will be operated until September, at which point the council will assess the response of the public before deciding what steps to take next.
Nearby St Michael’s Pant, is one of the oldest pants in Alnwick, and has been in operation more-or-less continuously for the last 250 years.
Details of all the old pants in Alnwick are available from the Tourist Information Centre and on the Pants of Alnwick web site. In early 2014 Bailiffgate Muesum are planning to hold an exhibition on the history of the Pants of Alnwick.