book cover
Download Sample PDF

H 276 x W 203 mm

170 pages

90 figures, 11 tables (includes 96 colour pages)

Published Jan 2020

Archaeopress Access Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789693980

Digital: 9781789693997

Recommend to a librarian

Bar locks; Church security; Britain; Medieval; Middle Ages

Related titles

Bar Locks and Early Church Security in the British Isles

By John F. Potter

Includes PDF

PDF eBook
(personal use)
Free Download

PDF eBook
(institutional use)

Add to basket

Add to wishlist

This book 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.



Chapter One: Keys and Bar Locks ; 
Chapter Two: Church Bar Locks in England ; 
Chapter Three: Church Bar Locks in Scotland ; 
Chapter Four: Church Bar Locks in Wales ; 
Chapter Five: Church Bar Locks in Ireland ; 
Chapter Six: Comments and Conclusions on Bar Locks ; 
Chapter Seven: A Review of Possible Church Modifications to Enhance Security ; 
Chapter Eight: Church Security in England  ; 
Chapter Nine: Church Security in Scotland ; 
Chapter Ten: Church Security in Wales ; 
Chapter Eleven: Church Security in Ireland ; 
Chapter Twelve: Conclusions ; 
Important Note and Resulting Apologies ; 
Glossary ; 

About the Author

John F. Potter trained as a geologist specialising in lithostratigraphy (PhD London). He served as Principal of Farnborough College of Technology (1975-1997), was Hon. Secretary of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, and Editor for many years of the international 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.


This posthumously published book serves as an advert, too, for the author's previous studies of the geology and constructional methods of early medieval churches in Britain and Ireland, which deserve more attention than they have yet received.