Architectural Historian &

Historic Building Consultant.


I will mention the staircase archive first as this site is about staircases.

 The staircases have been sectioned through the treads and risers affording a unique view of their construction and joinery detailing.

The principal elements, such as the feature steps and the handrail that sits over it are intact and provide an excellent resource for understanding the various styles employed throughout the last three centuries.

Staircase collection.
Part of the staircase teaching display held at the Cranleigh gallery.

Learning about stairs.

Dating from the 1720s

I had the pleasure while there, to learn more myself, one of the wreathing volutes or more commonly refered to as a Monkey tails had been fitted in a way that I had not encountered before.

The monkey’s tail is set onto a carved Corinthian oak newel-post which contains a central wrought-iron rod bolted to the wreathing volute. This bolt has now been revealed by the removal of the walnut covering button.

Volute fixing.
Volute fixing.

Component parts.

There is a good selection of handrail profiles, spindles, handrail feature ends and step feature ends.

You can see the spindle positions on the treads and how the spindles have been fitted, the handrail bolts and dowels which show how the handrails would have been jointed and much more, well worth the visit if you would like to see some good examples all in one place.

Handrail bolt.
Handrail bolt.

Windows and doors.

The gallery contains a wide selection of window types, etc.

The selection of moldings for glazing bars is substantial, with good examples of different styles of window in the form of casement, sash, fanlight, box frame, gothic, lead light, domestic decorative glass, and probably a whole load that I have no idea what they are called.

The door selection has examples of ledged and boarded through to flush doors of the 1970’s

A large selection of the ironmongery used with these doors and windows is also in the archive.

Window collection.
Window archive.

Other items.

The Brooking archive also covers: Coal burning fire grates, Domestic stained glass, period joinery moldings and rainwater goods – principally rainwater heads.

General information.

Charles Brooking is an architectural historian specialising in period building detail, Charles offers an on-site consultancy service and also has a teaching gallery with courses on the history and evolution of doors, windows, staircases, fire grates, window-shutters, shutter fittings, and the development of glass.

To find out more about access to the gallery and the services including the courses that Charles offers, Please visit his site.