Unlocking a 17th-century strongbox: ASMR

Peek into the past with Senior Curator Angus Patterson and Conservator Philip Kevin, as they carefully unlock a historic 17th-century strongbox.

ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response – a pleasant tingling sensation beginning on the scalp and moving down the neck, which is triggered by a delicate or satisfying auditory or visual experience.

This strongbox has three secure padlocks with unique keys, and was originally used to keep money or documents safe. Each key would have been held by a different member of the community (possibly the schoolmaster, the vicar, and the verger), meaning that the box could only be opened – and the precious contents accessed – in the presence of witnesses.

Watch as Angus transports us to the 17th century, introducing us to parish church security and what might have been kept inside the box, whilst Philip gently wiggles the keys to pop the locks and examines the 500-year-old woodworm damage – luckily without any beetle poo.

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