At the time of the Roman Empire, as wealth spread, it was important for the wealthy citizens to protect their coins and jewels. The Roman mob was unpredictable and whilst the Praetorians maintained order for most of the time, there were plenty of thieves who would try to steal things from the villas or townhouses inside the walls of the city. The Romans had many of the same security challenges as we do today, and they first called on the locksmith to build a safe for their treasures.

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The Romans had seen locks in earlier forms in Egypt and Greece7. As with everything they encountered, the Romans refined the padlock to what we use today. Around 100-200 AD, Roman locksmiths invented the padlock. It is hard to pinpoint who invented the padlock, but it appears that there were some conferences about them. There are also signs that other locksmiths competed to develop the best product. For a modern day Locksmith Blackheath, visit

The Roman padlock had a simple design. The lock featured a body and a shackle. The shackle was locked into place by turning the key. A steel spring was located inside. The key was used to lock the shackle into place. It is similar to Egyptian designs, which were first created. The padlock allows you to be more ornate and make something that matches the home it’s protecting. Cost would also have been an important factor. The cost of a door lock was high, but a Roman padlock could withstand many hits over time.

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The barrel lock was also popular during this time. The barrel lock was more designed to hold animals, as it was heavier than a padlock. It was designed for heavy-duty protection, so not every household had or needed one.


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