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Bath Abbey

Allgood worked with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Emery Bros Ltd to provide a complete package of ironmongery and a comprehensive access control solution. The project required many bespoke items to accommodate the Abbey’s historic architecture.

Given the age of the building, there were particular challenges to overcome during the specification process. A highlight being how to bring a 400-year-old lock back into working order as part of a modern access control system. The lock on the main doors of the Abbey had not been used in decades and the key had been lost many years ago. Allgood delivered the lock to its specialist partner, Guardian Lock & Engineering Company, who called upon the services of one of their retired locksmiths to diligently disassemble the lock, repair, and service it before crafting a new key.

Another particular specification issue was improving access control for the ancient catacombs which needed constant airflow to maintain the right environmental conditions, but they also needed to be secure. Allgood worked with the architect on several options to balance these needs in a way sensitive to the 17th Century surroundings. The solution was a door designed to have a clear gap on either side for airflow but narrow enough to maintain security. Allgood Secure also revised the internal exit and a second card reader was fitted to boost security, allowing a read in, read out system to give full visibility of people arriving and departing. To complete the work, a specifically designed stainless-steel cover was fitted to house the electronic locking system.

The Mode 3570 lever handle in a bronze Spectra finish was specified throughout the Abbey, as well as a full suite of matching door furniture. This fully coordinated range not only provided the desired aesthetic but is also designed to last. The comprehensive 25-year warranty and Quadaxial rose, which is tested up to one million cycles, means the lever handles are perfect for the high foot traffic the Abbey receives.

Allgood Secure also completed an access control system for the Abbey. Because many of the doors and frames were protected by Historic England listing requirements, the team had to develop a sensitive yet functional solution. All visible products had the same Spectra bronze finish to match the ironmongery, as well as installing entry controls for much narrower doors than usual.

A video entry system was also required – but one that could function without disturbing events in the Abbey including the regular choir practices. Rather than an audio alarm, the team created a visual beacon using a 25mm LED fixed to the choir room wall, allowing for an unintrusive system that would draw attention but not disrupt any rehearsals.

The entire access control system is networked so that each door can be monitored, and access rights managed easily via a simple database. The Allgood Secure team has provided full training to all those who need it and have offered a package of ongoing maintenance and support for the Abbey.

Project website: https://www.allgood.co.uk/projects/bath-abbey/

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