History of Locks

Museum & Archive curator: Brian Morland

Preserving artefacts from antiquity to the cutting edge examples of today

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The History of Locks Museum

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© 2004 - 2023

Our Artefacts

The Heritage Collection

View  a selection of records from the Heritage Collection pages or download the full index.

Global Search for Locks

The statement the lock and key makes, the privileged access it provides is fundamental to all aspects, to all levels, of mans existence. Our search is relentless for these objects, their application and even the back stories. Therefore we learn from your observations and experiences and in our quest to find locks from around the world and back through time, can you help… contact-us  

The story of locks is in many ways the very story of mankind; embedded within them they tell us of evolving technologies whilst the use they are put to tell us a little about the perceived and/or the actual threat .There are of course other reasons a lock may be used to secure an enclosure, it might be privacy or it might be protection from natural environmental events such as weather or it might be from man made events such as civil organisation or even war. All these factors are of course what historians and archaeologists are about; learning about the events of the past.

The Reference Collection

Initially all artefacts received are entered into our Database with basic acquisition details and a ID number, thereafter its available for selection any conservation, if required, and of course for public display. We therefore endeavour to preserve at least one of each locking device, and variant; this includes not just antique and vintage items but also modern currant locks ensuring that future curators and historians have pristine examples. An observation though; its amazing how quickly both time and technology moves on - some of the locks sold and fitted during the post WWII years, early Manifoils and the first Ingersoll locks for example are now represents certain aspects of historical importance. Today the museum tries to save new items before they have been fitted or used and collected from around the world

The Heritage Collection

From the Reference Collection selections are made, sensitively restored if need be, and then mounted and described; added to the Heritage Collection catalogue where if forms part of the items we rotate around our various permanent or temporary exhibitions; and all the while additional information recorded in the master database.