The Queen's Locks

IMG 2959 - The Queen's Locks

Not her Ma’am’s hairstyle but her Palace’s locks!
Few bother to take a really close look at the carefully crafted iron locks dotted around the Palace’s perimeter.
Here’s some of the Queen’s exquisite locks…
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The locks are from the reign of George V – who had the palace’s frontage remodelled between 1910 – 13. His Royal insignia has been splendidly crafted onto several of these locks.
By the way some bits of the old palace frontage still remain to this day, quite unrecognised. The gates themselves and some of the pillars for example.
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The locks (at least those with fancy sculptures) were done by the Bromsgrove Guild. This consisted of artists and designers who influenced the early 20th century arts and crafts movement. Walter Gilbert was its founder.
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An angelic figure struggling with a monster of some sort can be seen on some of the locks.
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Angelic figures guarding the locks. It seems the other main gates had a similar style of appearance to. Evidence for this is borne by the fact holes remain where the sculptures would have been anchored. See the first picture at top of the page.
Its possible the guild was limited to redesigning the main palace gates coat of arms and locks, as the gates were in fact much older and already had coats of arms. The gates/railings around the Spur Road’s appear to be wholly the Bromsgrove Guild’s work.
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One of the locks has a dedication to Walter Gilbert and Louis Weingartner from Switzerland. They were the Bromsgrove Guild’s main leaders.
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A dramatic sculpture seen on one of the locks – its an ogre with a very large tooth!
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Several cast iron locks can be seen on the palace’s Spur Road gates. A somewhat simpler design very likely by the Bromsgrove Guild. The Spur Road and its perimeter gates were done about the same time as the main palace frontage, so I assume there is common lineage here.
The Canada Gates were also done by the Bromsgrove Guild, however the locks are not so exquisite.
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This is clearly an odd out lock! Its obviously much older and one of a smaller pair of gates either side of the palace. The name appears to be related to B Finch and Company, based at 82 Belvedere Road in Waterloo, trading until about 1900. This is quite possibly how the locks looked before George V came on the scene and no doubt these were installed during the later years of Queen Victoria’s reign.
Although Finch’s were primarily sanitary engineers, cast iron structures were also a part of their work. The listed cast iron chimney located at Kennington Cross features a crown at its top which may denote the company’s connections with the palace, and of course it may have been responsible for the palace’s sanitation too.

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Changing Victoria

Historical