Is your house – or office – a haven? A sanctuary? Do people come to you in need of peace, protection and succour (whatever that might be)? Yes? Then here is the perfect door knocker for you. Those of you of an historical or architectural persuasion will instantly recognise this as a copy of the one on the North door (or ‘sanctuary door’) of Durham Cathedral. Said North Door dates back to 1140 and on it is an amazing knocker (see photo below). In the middle ages a fugitive from the law – being pursued could race to this place and as soon as he/she grasped the knocker he/she was immune from the baying officers of the law. Magic eh? Admitted to the monastery the miscreant had 37 days (why 37 ? - tell us someone please) to choose between trial and voluntary exile. (If they chose the latter they were escorted to the coast where they were obliged to catch the next boat to set sail, regardless of its destination.)
Unfortunately the romance has been entirely knocked out of the story by the removal of the original from the door in 1980 – it is now in the museum – and it has been replaced by a replica. Chiz chiz.
Just over 6 inches (this is smaller than the original). Made of brass or bronze or something equally nice. A very good old item in good dirty condition.