Do You Latch the Sneck or Sneck the Latch

Painted Door and Sneck in Eccleshill

There is more than one way to ‘shut that door’ or gate including the use of a catch, bolt, bar, lock, hook, hasp or some other fastening. Here on Gods Own County we are ‘locked and loaded’ with a Yorkshire sneck. They are still in common use for outside lavatories, outhouses and garden sheds.

Construction of a Sneck

  • Used since the early 15th century a sneck is an iron latch made by a blacksmith.
  • There is generally a lever to lift a cross bar and then a catch point to sneck or latch into.
  • Importantly there is also a lever through the door on the inside or you would be in danger of ‘two old ladies stuck in the lavatory’.
  • The sneck can be used vertically but more commonly horizontally as above.
  • Further north in Scotland you can ‘sneck’ a window catch or use sneck as a verb when closing the lid of a tin.
  • By contrast a deadbolt latch has a bolt to slide into a strike plate.
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