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244 DOORS [CH.

The door-bar crossing the whole width of the door, as already
described, was a useful fastening for the harr-hung door, which was
never very secure against marauders.

The writer now knows of no harr-hung house door: the last
survivor was removed a few years ago, and the method which was
thought fit, in the fourth century, for the doors of a frontier station
of Imperial Rome, is considered in the twentieth century to be too
inferior for a cottage, and is only allowed to remain in barns and
fowl-houses. The word ‘harr’ does not occur in Gothic, the
oldest of Teutonic languages, and in early times only the doors of
the better buildings would be harr-hung, for it is evident that if the
doors in the fine stone buildings of the forts were fixed in this way
in Romano-British times, then the doors of ordinary buildings
would be fixed in a very inferior way, if they were fixed at all.
Although the modern spring hinge usually works in a manner
similar to a harr of a later kind, the harr itself followed the usual
line of descent of building constructions: from the most important
buildings it descended, as the centuries passed, to the less important,
and then became entirely obsolete.

At the Romano-British village of Woodcuts Common, General
Pitt-Rivers found circular stones with mortises sunk in, which he
supposed to be for gates to turn in‘, and similar gates may yet be
seen in South Yorkshire, where the foot of the back stile of the
gate turns in a shallow cup cut in a stone. Sir Arthur Mitchell
made an interesting observation on a similar gate. He wrote:
‘I once saw the post of a field-gate, turning in a hollow in an
earth-fast stone, and not one hundred yards away, I saw another
gate, entirely and skilfully made of iron. The owner of the
two gates thought the old-fashioned one in many respects the
better, and he half convinced me that he was right. He wholly
convinced me that the continued use of what we choose to call a
rude mechanical arrangement is no necessary evidence of mental
incapacity in the user. Both of these gates were set up by him,
and he wished to know which of them was to be taken as the
indication either of his capacity or his culture”)

A few old field-gates remain in South Yorkshire which show a
method intermediate in hanging between the harr and the hinge.
As field-gates could not have a lintel to turn in, a modification of

1 Excavation: in Cranborne Clmse, I, p. 143.
2 Past in the Present, p. 128.

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