Perhaps the big WOW! for me when I first saw the house was the early 19th century staircase. It is a magnificent example of how a small staircase can still be grand in every sense. Totally handmade and hewn from oak, each of the hefty bannister spindles is carved. It really is a work of Gothic beauty.

[Oak Staircase]
Photographed in 2007, the staircase at Colondannes is a beauty!
[Oak Staircase]
The same staircase in 2015 after a fair bit of cleaning and waxing.
For a two-hundred year old staircase this Old Girl is looking pretty good. There’s some damage here and there. At some point, some idiot felt the need to cut away a section of the first going. Apart from that and a few wormholes, she’s as tough as iron.

Lord knows why this was done. I’m going to have to find a way to fix it!
When I was cleaning and waxing in August 2015 I saw something I hadn’t noticed before. On each of the five spindles there were scratchmarks, each corresponding to the order in which the spindles were to fit. Wonderful!

[maker's marks]
the magic of the maker’s mark is almost like shaking hands…