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Bar Locks and Early Church Security in the British Isles
Author: John F. Potter. Paperback; 203x276mm; xviii+144 pages; 90 figures, 11 tables (includes 96 colour pages). 105 2020. Available both in print and Open Access. Printed ISBN 9781789693980. Epublication ISBN 9781789693997.
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Bar Locks and Early Church Security in the British Isles examines the evidence for the measures taken to make church buildings secure or defensible from their earliest times until the later medieval period. In particular it examines the phenomenon of ‘bar locks’ which the author identifies in many different contexts throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Bar locks take various forms and can be made of different materials, but they all provide a means of locking a door by placing a bar behind it from the inside which is then secured onto the door frame or housings on adjacent walls. The most dramatic examples are provided by thick wooden bars slotted into recesses incorporated in the adjacent door jambs. The volume describes and lists all the examples identified by the author and also publishes his photographs of the evidence for the first time.

The recognition of the role of bar locks in securing churches led the author to consider further measures which may have been introduced to enhance church security; these measures could Have had major implications for structural change and design in the buildings. These supplementary protective requirements and methods for achieving them are many and various and are also considered in the volume.

About the Author
John F. Potter trained as a geologist (BSc Manchester) specialising in lithostratigraphy (PhD London). He served as Principal of Farnborough College of Technology in Hampshire from 1975 to 1997, was Hon. Secretary of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, and Editor for many years of the international quarterly journal, The Environmentalist. On retirement he was appointed Emeritus Professor at the University of Surrey and joined the University of Reading in order to continue with the church building fabric studies which he started in 1975.


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