Step or Stair

Step Or Stair.

It may be convenient in this place to give the nomenclature of the different parts of a stair. The vertical surface is called the riser (or raiser), the horizontal surface the tread. If the edge have a molding, it is called the nosing: this never appears in mediaeval steps. When the tread is wider at one end than the other it is called a winder, but if of equal breadth a flyer. When the tread is so broad as to require more than one step of the passenger, it is called a landing or landing-place, sometimes a resting- place or foot-place. A number of successive steps uninterrupted by landings is a fight, or simply stairs; the part of the building which contains them is the staircase. A flight of winders of which the narrow ends of the steps terminate in one solid column was called a vyse, screw stairs, sometimes a turngrese, now often termed corkscrew stairs; the central column is the newel. Sometimes the newel is omitted, and in its place we have a well-hole. Stairs that have the lowermost step supported by the floor, and every succeeding step supported jointly by the step below it and the wall of the staircase at one end only, are termed geometrical stairs. Stairs constructed in the form nearly of an inclined plane, of which the treads are inclined and broad and the risers small, so that horses may ascend and descend them, are called marsches rampantes, or girons rampantes (as at the mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome, St. Mark's in Venice, and in Italy commonly. Large external stairs are called pennons.

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