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17o FLOORS [CH. x1

obtained by working a portion of the newel on each step‘. The
stone newel staircase, as we know it to-day, must be the perfected
result of attempts which have not come down to us, for when
one craft copied the work of another, it was some time before the
old design was adjusted to the new material. The old craftsmen
only attained to the correct adaptation of design to material after
gradual experiment: although the right use of material was usual
with them, it was the result of previous failure, and not of instinct.

(6) The modern framed staircase, with separate strings,
treads, and risers.

‘ The modern form,’ says Mr Ralph Nevill, ‘in humble buildings,
at least, is a sure sign of a date later than 16002.’

There are two varieties of ordinary stairs, the one with close
and the other with cut strings. The former is the earlier, and the
latter superseded it in the eighteenth century, but since the
nineteenth century both kinds have been in use.

1 Thick trunks of trees were probably used for the old wooden newels, as the newels
of the stone stair in the tower of Hough-on-the-I-Iill Church, Lincolnshire, are 18in.
diameter in the portion supposed to be pre-Conquest, and only gin. in the later
medizeval portion above. \V. F. Rawnsley, Highway: and Byeways in Lincoln-
:lzz're, p. 71.

2 01d Cottage and Domestic Arckz'teclure in Soutk- West Surrey, p. 12.

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