Sanctuary Knocker

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The Sanctuary Knocker or hagoday[1] is an ornamental knocker on the door of a cathedral. Under medieval English common law, these instruments supposedly afforded the right of asylum to anybody who touched them. Examples of Sanctuary Knockers can be found on Durham Cathedral, the St. Nicholas church in Gloucester and the Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon.[2] By 1623, the laws permitting church sanctuary had been overturned by parliament.[3]


  1. ^ John MacLean, ed. (1889–1890). "Sanctuary Knockers". Transactions - Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society. Bristol: C. T. Jefferies and Sons, Limited. pp. 131–140. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Mason, Charlotte (December 1904 – May 1905). "Sanctuary". The Windsor Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly for Men and Women. Ward, Lock & Co., Limited. 21: 127. 
  3. ^ Cox, J. C. (1911). "The Sanctuaries and Sanctuary Seekers of Yorkshire". The Archaeological Journal. 68: 299.