We’ve been serving London for more than 30 years and we always looked towards the future. It’s only natural to keep up with these fast paced times, especially when you’re taking responsibility for the safety of others. And let’s face it, crime rates have been going up and burglar tools have evolved a lot. So we did our best to stay one step ahead and that was possible only by thinking things in perspective.
But today we decided to look back and we’ll be sharing a piece of history, because it’s somewhat a part of our history.
As the title suggests, we’re talking about Britain’s oldest door and we’d be curious to find out what your first estimate could be. How old do you think this door is? 300 years? 500? 600?
Well, it’s almost 1000 years old, since it was assembled in 1050. This lovely piece of archaeology, the
of the Chapter House, was found in Westminster Abbey and it seems that it was put in place in the time of Edward the Confessor, the actual founder of the Abbey.
The door was made of oak, one oak to be precise and it is composed of 5 panels. However, it is thought that it used to be arched, and that would mean that now it’s significantly shorter. Tests showed that the tree used in the making grew in eastern England (probably Essex), somewhere between 924 and 1030 AD.
The truly remarkable thing about this door is that it has been in constant use. Furthermore, it seems that this particular aspect is the secret to its longevity (this and the fact that it was indoors).
Another thing that is worth mentioning is the possibility to have been covered in human skin at some point. Yes, that sounds creepy, but it was supposed to be a strong message, since the skin was of a man who committed a sacrilege on the Abbey grounds. It’s hard to say whether this legend is true or not, but thinking about the specifics of the Middle Age it’s not even that far fetched.
All in all, this is one wooden door that deserves our admiration. It sure passed the test of time and it’s still in great shape, even though only one of its original iron straps is in place today. Nostalgics might comment that that’s how they did things in “the old days” (to be honest, the really old days), but we’re proud of every piece of work we do today!