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Last edited 08 Dec 2020
The main upright supporting the handrail, is known as the ‘newel post’. These are typically found at the bottom of stairs, but can also be found at the top, and in intermediate positions, such as landings.
|Ornate newel post with finial.||Simple newel post.|
In medieval times, the newel (Old English: Noel, Nowel and Nuel) was the central column around which a spiral or circular staircase wound. In some parts of Northern England, the newel column would terminate above the uppermost level of steps and continue up to a vaulted roof where ribs would radiate from it, giving a palm-tree effect, as at Belsay Castle, Northumberland (14th century).
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