Heritage buildings will typically be fitted with original antique locks, and therefore will of course use antique keys. Some of these can date back several centuries. With many heritage properties open to the public, the ability to keep certain areas protected under lock and key is essential. But how to address the issues of ensuring the locking mechanism meets today’s security standards; replacing missing antique keys and restoring antique locks whilst maintaining the antique look?

In a previous post, we looked at how to go about securing listed buildings and heritage properties.

These types of property call for extra special attention, particularly as the insurance and planning aspects associated with them are subject to such intense scrutiny.

Security is of course a major concern for buildings of historic interest which are sadly seen as high-value and sometimes easy targets for intruders.

As we discovered when researching our previous post on the subject, a massive £100 million worth of sculptures and artworks are stolen from historic buildings every year in the UK.

The Challenge of Securing Heritage Properties

Securing heritage buildings can prove quite a challenge. There are strict rules to adhere to, but having said that, with expert knowledge and insight, it is possible to come up with acceptable solutions. We looked before at intruder detection systems, perimeter protection and CCTV for listed and historical buildings and talked about how any changes to heritage buildings must meet certain criteria.

One of these criteria was sensitivity. With buildings of this nature, it is imperative that due consideration is given to the general appearance of the property.

One aspect of security we didn’t cover in the previous blog was locks and keys. Heritage buildings will typically be fitted with original antique locks, and therefore will of course use antique keys. Some of these can date back several centuries. Three issues arise from this fact.

The Issues with Antique Locks and Keys

Firstly, the locks and keys may have provided adequate security during the eras in which they were crafted. However, they are highly unlikely to meet today’s security standards, and issues may therefore arise where insurance is concerned.

Secondly, considering how easy it is to lose a key, it is not hard to imagine a situation where an ageing lock is missing its key. Arranging replacements for antique keys is not, unfortunately, just a case of paying a visit to a high street key cutter.

Thirdly, if a lock needs to be replaced, how can it remain sympathetic to the look of the period?

With many heritage properties open to the public, the ability to keep certain areas protected under lock and key is essential. But how to address the issue of: 1. ensuring the locking mechanism meets today’s security standards; 2: replacing missing antique keys and 3: restoring antique locks whilst maintaining the antique look?

Specialist Antique Lock Rebuilding and Key Replacement Service

The good news is that at Barry Bros Security, we offer a specialist service in antique locks and keys.

Whether you require a replacement key for an antique lock, or need an antique lock repaired, restored or rebuilt, we can assist. We are able to craft handmade keys that work perfectly yet are true to the original antique design, as well as authentically reproduce antique locks.

Our skilled locksmiths also have the expertise to incorporate high security locking cylinders into existing antique door locks. This means that the locking system gets to maintain its traditional appearance, whilst delivering a far higher level of security: perfect for the heritage property or listed building.

We have assisted numerous listed and heritage building owners by reproducing locks that had been deemed ‘beyond repair’. Our service is suitable for all types of antique locks, including for external doors, internal doors, gates and furniture.

If you have a need for a specialist antique lock and key service, please get in touch.