evidence, so far as it goes, is not incompatible with a date c. 1300.
Iron Door-bolt (Fig. 4). This was found in the floor
of Outbuilding 2. Mr. Dunning has kindly supplied the following note:
The bolt is 11.8 in. long and has two curved projections
below the middle, which form the locking device, and a vertical step
near the end which went in and out of the door frame. The other end is
bent round in the same plane as the bolt.
The method of fixing the bolt appears to be that the bar
was loosely held to the inside of the door by two large staples about 6
in. apart, one on each side of the projections. The key hole was an inch
or two below the space between the projections on the bolt. The key was
quite simple, hook-shaped, with the end bent round at right angles.
In use the key was inserted through the key hole and turned
round, so that its hooked end engaged one or other of the projections on
the bolt. By turning the key, the bolt would be moved to one side or the
other, thus freeing the door or bolting it. The step at the end
Fig. 4. Iron Door-bolt (⅓)
of the bolt is to restrict movement, so that the bar cannot be pulled
too far through the staples. The turned-back end of the bolt could be
used for sliding the bolt by hand from the inside of the door.
Simple bolts of this kind were first introduced in late
prehistoric times, and the long curved hook-like keys are not uncommonly
found on settlement sites.1 The type remained to some extent
in use during the Roman period. The later history is obscure, owing to
lack of evidence, but that bolts of this pattern were widely used on
Saxon huts is show by the finding of keys on settlement sites, such as
the two simple keys in the Saxon village at Sutton Courtenay, Berkshire,2
and three keys at the Anglian settlement site at Crossgates, near
The last phase in the history of door-bolts is illustrated
by five examples from the excavation of the late Saxon town of Thetford
by the Ministry of Works. Four of these bolts are flat iron strips, from
about 5 in. to 8 in. in length, each with two projections below
Devizes Museum Catalogue, II (1934), 90, pi. XXIVc, 1 and 136,
pi. XXXIX, A-B.
2 Archaeologia, LXXIII, pi. XXVTI,
3 J. G. Rutter and Q-. Duke, Excavations
at Crossgates near Scarborough (1968), p. 56, fig. 13, 38/3-5.