The Brougham Door Knocker

Four examples of this door knocker, a 12th century design, exist: two in Durham and two from Brougham. Of the four, the one pictured on the right is the most perfect. The original graced the north door of Durham Cathedral, from 1172 to 1977, when it was removed to the safety of the Cathedral Treasury and replaced by a replica, cast by the British Museum.

Both the Durham rings were bronze. It was believed that sanctuary in the Cathedral was assured to any fugitive who grasped the ring. The original Brougham ring was made of iron. Once again, it faced due north, on the courtyard gate. It survived the War but was stolen, crated and sent to Sotheby's for auction. In an attempt to replace it, the Brougham Hall Charitable Trust asked the Bishop of Durham for consent to use the British Museum mould. The Bishop was amenable but the Dean and Chapter were not. This resulted in the laborious operation of drawing another from which the monster's head was carved in wood. A sand mould was taken from the wooden head and finally cast in bronze, in seven pieces, by Collier's foundry, in Sussex in 1993. None of this would have been possible without the financial help of Tony Karawani, a generous friend of Brougham. 

Brougham Hall door knocker