Elizabethan Solid Oak Closed Stairwell
Copyright © Julia Bradley. All rights reserved.
Photography by Darron Slade (Slades Perfect Picture).
The impressive master bedroom suite is a real highlight of Byngley House, hosting an array of capacious characteristics. It's a very spacious room, dominant with an original Elizabethan stone fireplace which to the far wall the style and design of the rudimental tiles can still be seen. To the left of the fireplace is a stone mullion with stained glass window which is thought to be original. This has since been blocked up from the outside when the neighbouring property was built. Exposed stone work surrounds this window and is repeated beneath the impressive large front facing bay, with oak frame and leaded glass authentic timber-cill and stone window seat. Exposed beams to the ceiling and exposed timbers to the walls just adds to the already breathtaking character of the room.
During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell is rumoured to have spent time at Byngley House (a meeting place to pay his Parliamentarians). Cromwell's soldiers were billeted to nearby Scaplins Court, which was a merchants house and Inn for rich travellers. Carved initials and dates on the old stone fire-surround by his men are still visible today.
Byngley House boasts one of the last few remaining original solid oak Elizabethan stairwells in England. With 8 returns to the stairs (quarter landings with flights of 4 treads in between) the staircase survives intact and virtually unaltered. There is an enclosed well, 2ft 6ins square, which has exposed timber framed sides with wattle and daub fillings which housed the original dumb waiter with its oak doors and cast iron hinges; nowadays turned into useful storage. You get a real sense of the property's history and character as you ascend to the higher levels.
Thomas Byngley, the man who is believed to have built the house, was Mayor of Poole in 1555. He was one of the wealthier men of Poole with quite a large family and he married eventually into the Garland family. Thomas Byngley was a local merchant whose main business was dealing in green corn, house building and cloth. In his last will dated 9th December 1567, he left substantial property, silver and gilt to his daughters and son, and the sum of £400 to his wife, Alice, which was a profuse amount of money in those days.