A cloistered life for Keylex at Wells Cathedral

Often called the “most poetic of English cathedrals,” Wells cathedral was the first in the country to be built in the Gothic style. Construction commenced in 1175 with constant development and refurbishment ever since. Following the latest phase in the implementation of the current masterplan for the cathedral, it was decided to make a small store room available to the volunteers who run the information desk and the guided tours so that they could have personal lockers and somewhere to store their equipment. This room opens directly onto the cloisters and is accessed via a large medieval door. It was impractical to issue keys to all the volunteers but some of the doors in the recent new development already used digital door locks to grant access to those in possession of the relevant door code and these were all working very well. So Jez Fry, the cathedral’s Clerk of Works, referred back to the specification for these locks and found them to be Keylex K500 models in dark bronze and lever operated both sides.

Keylex locks are supplied in the UK by Devizes based Relcross Ltd, specifiers and distributors of high performance heavy duty door hardware. Jez readily found their e-commerce site at www.keylex.co.uk which clearly lays out all the options available regarding finishes, door thicknesses and accessories.


Jez said:

“The information on the web site was very useful. It re-assured me that I was ordering the right lock and that it would come with everything needed for the installation, which proved to be very straightforward.”

The dark bronze finish harmonises well with the medieval doors as does the entirely mechanical operation that requires no electronics or wiring. The narrow stile Keylex 500 design fits all clear stile widths down to 80mm and is particularly suited for use on timber or composite doors. The slipping clutch mechanism protects the lock furniture from attempted forced entry, vandalism or just over enthusiastic use. This lock utilises an adjustable tubular deadlocking latch that locks the door every time the door closes. The correct code overrides the lock from the outside and free egress is always allowed from the inside. The lock can be set to free passage from both sides if required on occasions.

The current masterplan for the cathedral and its precincts was developed by architects Purcell Miller Tritton. This involved new education and community spaces, music departments, new workshops for the Works Team, a new café and shop plus an interpretation exhibition in the magnificent, octagonal Chapter House undercroft. A number of the new rooms have access controlled by Keylex locks including the choir rehearsal room where the lock is helping to safeguard the young choristers by restricting access to approved persons only.

Relcross Sales and Marketing Director, Stuart McMaster said:

“We have a great deal of experience in supplying hardware for heritage door installations that blend with their historical environment but still deliver a very modern performance. The e-commerce web site is also making life very easy for buyers but we’re always willing to talk and help with specifications.”

For further information call 01380 729600 or visit either www.keylex.co.uk for Keylex locks or www.relcross.co.uk for the full range of Relcross door hardware.