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A Cloistered Life for Keylex at Wells Cathedral

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 a small store room available was converted into a place for the volunteers who run the information desk and the guided tours to store their equipment and personal possessions.

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 vital to maintain simple but effective access control. Jez Fry, the cathedral’s Clerk of Works, was already familiar with Keylex digital locks and specified Keylex K500 models in dark bronze and lever operated both sides.

Keylex locks are supplied in the UK by Relcross, specifiers and distributors of high performance heavy duty door hardware.  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 even over enthusiastic use and features 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.