Parchment making

Homewell spring

The excellent pure supply of water from the Homewell spring in Havant helped to provide the town with many industries such as parchment making, tanning and leather glove making.

Ancient craft

One of the oldest was the skilled craft of parchment making, which is reputed to have gone on here for a thousand years. The water that was used here in the process of parchment making, helped to produce some of the whitest parchment in the country.

Official documents

Havant parchment was used for many official documents, including, it is said, The Treaty of Versailles, signed by European countries to formally end World War I (Great War) in 1919.


Tannery and Parchment Works

There has been a Tannery and Parchment Works in Havant for over 150 years. Little is recorded of its early life, but we know by 1847 the tannery was being run by Edward Stallard and it continued as a family business until it closed in 1936.


Tanning is the name of the process that creates leather from animal skins (usually hides). Here the worker is 'fleshing' the skins. All remaining flesh had to be removed from the skin by hand using a long scraper-like tool so all that was left was the skin.

Stent's Glove-making Factory

Alfred Stent

One of the men who originally worked with Edward Stallard at the parchment works was Alfred Stent pictured here on the left in about 1908.

Glove factory

He continued to develop the industry and in 1916 set up a leather manufacturing factory in West Street, Havant. This was the start of the glove making industry, which at one stage employed over 100 people.

From skins to gloves

Drying the skins

Skins of all kinds were used here to make a variety of gloves, including tiny gloves for children to long evening gloves for the ladies. Here the animal skins have been laid out in field of Brockhampton Lane, Havant, nearby to Stent's factory to dry and bleach in the sun.

Stitching gloves

Her Majesty the Queen had riding gloves made here. During the Second World War (1939-1945) the company manufactured flying suits, mittens and a variety of other leather items for the military. The picture on the right shows workers at Stent's in 1935 using pedal-operated sewing machines to stitch gloves. The Stent family glove making business finally closed in 1960.

GS 2003

This theme will be expanded with more information and links to images in the coming months.

Last amendment date: 02/07/2015

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Havant History of the Spencer Family / Stents Gloves
My Paternal Grandmother Edith Emily Spencer (nee Eales) was the Forewoman at Stents Glove Factory during the First World War. My Aunt Emily Alice Spencer also worked there as a young woman. They lived at 2 Stanley Terrace, now known as 15 Lymbourne Road, Havant, where my Dad Frank Todman Spencer, was born in 1916 also later, his younger brother Fredrick Spencer (Fred). There were other women that lived in Lymbourne Road, employed at Stents, Mrs Madge Cresswell, or Crasswell, and others who's names I may recall later. My Father we believe was named after Frank Stent? Lady Pink was his Godmother and he went to Manor House Private School. My Grandfather, Thomas Spencer (Tom). Was a draftsman/builder and Foreman for Carolls, also based in the Carolls Yard near Homewell, he built and repaired houses in the area. My Grandad built or helped in the building of, The White Art Deco House on Portsdown Hill, he also re-roofed Havant Church at one time. My Dad said. To travel by horse and cart to get to his Grandparents home, Hodge Lodge Farm up at Butser Hill, from Green Pond, which was a pond for watering animals, and was on the opposite corner to the One Stop on the Havant to Emsworth Road, that it took all day, when he was a little boy. (Preparing images of Stents to upload)