Queen Anne Grade 1 Staircase

GRADE 1 – QUEEN ANNE STAIRCASE

 We were lucky enough to be commissioned to produce the missing Queen Anne staircase on a Grade 1 listed, Queen Anne house in London SW1.

The original case had been removed in the 1970’s and the stairwell joisted over to gain extra office space with in the building.  Access to the different floors were served by what was originally staff servant stairs at back of house.

In order to gain planning consent, one of the stipulations was reinstall a new staircase as the original.

The architect and client wanted hand-worked craftsmanship, charm and soul.

Our work started after receiving the research that the clients had collected.  We were also lucky enough to view and measure a close neighbours house that still had an original case installed.

This visit gave us more information than was then recorded in the CAD drawings.  These drawings were needed to confirm how the new case would interact with other elements.

Full size working rods were then drawn in the workshop using the CAD drawings for overall size and shape of the existing stairwell.  The rods covered a more complex layering of construction detail and chance to play with proportions.  The staircase itself was made in 1 st quality English oak using the same craft techniques as the missing original case.  The original case would of been produced by the highest level of craftsman/joiner of the day, not forgetting the original case was produced in 1704 some 312 years ago ! At this level of craftsmanship, there’s a chance the makers of the case worked at the nearby royal palace and would of been in high demand.

Manufacture

Following the design stage we were then asked to produce samples of main features like the carved step end brackets, carved newel post finals and a carved barley twist turned spindle.  These were given to the architects, interior designer and client for approval prior to manufacture.

The installation of the case went as planned having spent months in the workshop with one goal ahead, the day to hand over arrived, the cases carefully unloaded and placed in a busy stairwell, it was a chance for the architects to see the case unwrapped and a hint of what was to come.

Installation

Having spent the making time on this project, we were confident that the staircase would fit even though our tolerance/allowance was only 3mm smaller than the stairwell !

The panelling was already in position at ceiling level upon our arrival, due to access for scaffolding towers being larger that the outer string space once staircases are fitted, this is the beauty of CAD drawings and the sharing of information.

The end of day 1 on site, Stephen the main craftsman/maker was the first person to walk up the two flights that had been assembled (he could not stop smiling!)

Day 2 was all about spending time with the laser levels and getting the position happy before cutting the top of the 3 rd case into place.  Again it hit the mark – happy days!

The following two weeks were spent carefully fitting and refining the barley twist spindles, which were all hand turned and carved, these were also dovetailed on to each tread.

Finished Product

Recommendation

To Whom it may concern.

I employed Stephen under one of my subsidiary companies L&H London Limited to work on a particularly splendid Grade I Listed, Queen Anne House in London SW1,the finished brochure of which is attached.

I personally selected Stephen from a long list of hopefuls to hand craft a solid Oak, faithful replica of the original staircase, that had since been removed back in the 1970’s.

We digitally surveyed one of the neighboring properties who still had their staircase in tact, then produced drawings with reference to the original drawings in the British Library.

I found it very difficult to find someone of the right caliber who was capable of doing the project, as you will see from the photographs it was quite specialized and I had to be confident that I had chosen the right man for the job.

I am please to say that we did.

Given my Architectural background and being a high end London based residential developer, I have exceptionally high standards and pay real attention for detail.

I am please (and proud) to say that I did not need to snag Stephens work at all, which is very rare, it was handed over when he said it would be, for the same price he quoted and to the highest of standards, (he’s also a nice guy too).

I would not hesitate to recommend Stephen for any type of  high end bespoke Joinery and Carving, not would I hesitate to work with him again. Please feel free to contact me should you have any specific queries.

 

Kind Regards,

Alex