Exterior Doors and Storm Porches

Existing doors on your place of worship may contribute to the special interest of the building because of their age, design or traditional role. We encourage you to keep them in place.

Image of the inside of a church porch showing the new carved wooden door and surrounding window panes.
A new door installed at St Andrew’s Church, Irnham, Lincolnshire. The door marked the culmination of a £350,000 restoration programme to preserve the church building for future generations. © Historic England
Image of the inside of a church porch showing the new carved wooden door and surrounding window panes.
A new door installed at St Andrew’s Church, Irnham, Lincolnshire. The door marked the culmination of a £350,000 restoration programme to preserve the church building for future generations. © Historic England

Changes to doors and porches

If you are trying to create a sense of welcome or reduce draughts, it is sometimes possible to introduce an additional, inner set of glazed doors and to keep the historic door(s) open when the building is in use. Good levels of lighting at the entrance can also assist in creating a welcome.

Where an historic door is no longer capable of keeping the building secure we recommend that you repair it, retaining as much historic fabric as possible. Where this is not possible the door we advise that you record in situ using photographs and drawings before being removed.

Unless you wish to display an historic door within the building, we recommend that any elements that are sound, including ferramenta (metal fragments and decoration) and locks, be re-used on the replacement door. We also recommend that a new door is hung on the existing hinges or pins if possible.

If your outer porch entrance has always been open, it is best to keep this arrangement as part of the historic character of the building. If you have a strong need to enclose your porch, the most successful designs are generally partially open screens (in metal or timber, potentially with some glazing) rather than fully glazed doors.

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