The tannery


The only remaining traditional oak bark tannery in Britain producing some of the finest pit tanned leather in the world, with a reputation to match. Leather has been produced on this same site since the Roman times but has been in the Baker family for over 150 years since 1862. It has been passed through five generations of tanners along with the unique techniques and methods used to create their unrivalled, hardwearing and strong leather. 

Wet Bellies

Drying Room

Oak bark tannage is a long and gentle process that protects the natural fibers of the hide unlike modern tanning methods. Only the best local hides sourced from farmers of beef cattle in the surrounding areas are used. Raw hides arrive on site hair-on and salted to preserve. The process that follows takes 14 months to turn them into leather. The hides are de-haired, cut into sections and then suspended in pits containing a concentrated solution of oak bark and spring water. Each is exposed to only these natural and sustainable materials throughout this 14 month period having little effect on the environment. Post tanning the fluid is pumped back into the river, and the hides are expertly hand stained and hot cured with a special blend of natural oils and greases. This emphasises the distinct natural grain and protects and feeds the leather. The full grain hides we use have scarring, stretch marks and other natural characteristics, a true representation of what leather should look like. 

Tanning Pits