Staircase House ranks as one of the best preserved examples of medieval and post-medieval urban vernacular buildings in an urban context within North West England. The conserved buildings stand as an outstanding demonstration of what can be achieved through the determination and collaboration of a wide range of organisations.
The house lies within the historic market core of Stockport. At various periods a merchant's town house and warehouse, it comprises a two storey range facing the street frontage with timber-framed and stone wings to the rear surrounding an internal courtyard. Six main phases of construction span periods dating from 1460 to the present day.
Stockport MBC had acquired the property derelict, inaccessible and in a state of partial collapse. Our proposals for repair and subsequent reuse provided the basis for successful grant applications to a range of funding agencies, including the Heritage Lottery.
In view of its significance, it was proposed that the house should become a museum interpreting its social history and its various forms of vernacular construction. Work began on site in November 2001 and included the stabilisation of the structure, reconstruction of the 19th century front faÃ§ade, restoration of the 17th and 18th century interiors and conservation of the timber framing and wattle and daub. The carved newel staircase, from which the building takes its name, had been badly fire damaged. Its careful reconstruction involved conserving as much of the remaining fabric as possible. A new building to house visitor facilities, shop and education room was constructed alongside the historic building and work was completed in March 2004 at a cost of £3.1m. Linford-Bridgeman Ltd of Lichfield was the principal contractor.
Mr Laurence J. W. Bekford
7 Jury Road, Dulverton
Telephone: 0772 4452 961