Warded Locks

About Warded Locks

Warded locks are designed to use obstructions or “wards” in or outside a keyway to stop an incorrect key from being used to access and operate its locking mechanism. The Warded Lock’s locking mechanism itself usually consists of an unimpressive lever or spring that activates or releases the locking bolt in response to the insertion of the appropriate key.

Because modern day warded locks are still based on their ancient lock design, they are not very effective at providing security. But they are useful as a decorative piece to give your London home’s entrance a classic look.

How do Warded Locks work?

A warded lock’s complexity usually extends to its key which features grooves on its sides. These grooves ensure that a warded lock’s key can fit into only specific locks. If inserted in the right warded lock, the matching key’s grooves will align with notches inside the warded lock. This would allow the key operate the lock’s cylinder.

Certain warded locks are double-sided – This means they can be opened from either side of the door. A double-sided warded lock usually has a key shaft with a solid or strong middle that extends beyond the end of the bit. This bit is itself inserted into a slot on the other end of the lock. For a double sided ward to properly function, it’s usually better when their bits are precisely symmetrical.

On a one sided ward, a cylindrical post can be found right in the lock’s center. The point of this is to have a suitable leverage point for turning the key. It is also made to ensure that there is perfect alignment between the key and the wards. In the event the appropriate key enters a warded lock, the wards will rotate and the key on hitting a lever will activate a latch or sliding bolt.

Warded Lock Design

A typical warded lock is designed with concentric plates jutting outwards to serve as an obstruction that blocks a key not meant for that lock from entering the mechanism. A warded lock can have various complicated wards blocking its keyhole with protrusions or bends. It could also have just a single simple ward in place. Be it a simple or complicated ward, they all serve the same purpose of blocking a wrong key from operating the lock.

What is the history of Warded Locks?

As earlier stated, the warded lock is based on an ancient lock design. According to historians and archaeologists, the use of the warded lock design can be traced all the way back to ancient Rome and China. But it was around the Middle Ages that improvements were made to the warded lock design to increase its security capabilities. Monasteries who had access to finances were able to accomplish this by commissioning to have the complexity of already existing warded locks increased.

Over time, not may improvements have been made to improve the security features of the typical warded lock. Yet, they can still be found in use in present day Ireland and UK premises that require little security. Warded locks can also be found being used in parts of London, but usually alongside more security capable locks. Ancient monuments such as churches and heritage sites also still have their old warded locks in place to maintain the classic aesthetic features of the buildings.

How secure are Warded Locks?

In this time and age, warded locks are more of a decorative piece than a security tool, so we do not recommend them to be used as a primary lock to secure your London premises.

But warded locks do have the advantage of being resistant to outdoor elements and harsh weather because of their less complex parts. To benefit from this durability and reliability, our professional London locksmiths recommend their use on gates or exposed outside doors. These entrances can have their security reinforced with more versatile locks with improved security features if necessary.

How much do Warded Locks cost?

Because of their ineffectiveness at providing sufficient home security, you can purchase and install a warded lock at low costs. But the actual price of a warded lock is mostly determined by its design, the material it’s made of, and its model.

If you have any concerns related to your Warded locks, our expert London locksmiths are available around the clock to help you with the installations and repairs of such locks.