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234 DOORS [CH.

hole in the stone wall, for the bar, shows also that its original use
was in buildings constructed of other materials.

There were various names in the past for the door-bar, and
some of them have survived in the dialects. One of these old
names was ‘slot.’ In the fifteenth century Catholicon Anglican:
occurs ‘a slotte, ubi a barre,’ without the Latin translation, but this
is given as ‘ pessulus’ in the Manipulus Vocabulorum. The door-
bar is still called a ‘slot’ in the Paisley district, where the phrase
‘ stake the door’ is also used, with the meaning of shut the door.

‘ Stang’ was another very early name for the bar, and the Latin
word ‘vectis’ is so translated in glossaries from the eighth to the
twelfth centuries‘, and the word has continued in dialect use. In
a lecture before the Leeds and Yorkshire Architectural Society,
Mr Harold E. Henderson said: ‘At night an oak bar, called a
stang, is fixed horizontally inside the door, with each end in a
pocket cut out of the stone jambs’,’ and the word ‘stang’ was used
in Worcestershire, in the year I 790, for ‘a draw rail, or long bar,
passed between two posts to serve as a gate, and drawing in and
out when anyone is to pass 3.’

The bar was also called a ‘spar’ in the Middle Ages and to
fasten the door by a bar was to spar it. In the later mediaeval
Wakefield play of T Ize Harrowing of Hell, the command is given,
‘Go spar the gates!’ (against Christ), and in the Cat/zolicon
Anglicum ‘to sperre’ is translated by the Latin ‘claudere, prohibere,
intercludere.’ In the same century the more obvious name, ‘door-
bar’ is variously translated by ‘clatrus, repagulum, vectis,’ and by
‘obex‘.’

It was a disadvantage of the door-bar that it could only be fixed
from inside, which must have been inconvenient. In Germany an
arrangement was in use by which the bar could be moved by a
strap from outside the door, but no English examples are known
to the writer. Mr John Ward, in his book We Roman Era in
Britain, has illustrated ‘ a bar of iron, bent somewhat into the form
of a sickle, with a flat handle,’ of which examples are found on
Roman sites in this country and in France, and also ‘with Late
Celtic remains in both countries, for which reason it has been

1 Wright-Wiilcker, Vocabularies.

2 ‘ Minor Domestic Architecture of Yorkshire.’ See T It: Builder, 2 3 June, 191 I.
3 English Dialect Dictionary, 3.2). Stang.

‘ Wright-Wiilcker, Vocabularies.

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