Burford, Oxfordshire

This sweet little garden building has fascinated me for many years. It is Grade II listed and the listing information says that it was built about 1700 and it is attributed to Christopher Kempster.  Kempster was a mason who owned a quarry nearby in Upton. He is thought to have designed/built a few of the finer buildings locally, but is most well known for his work for Wren in London. His is responsible for the stunning staircase in the South West tower at St Paul’s (The Dean’s Stair).

There is a very clear mason’s mark under the staircase – I have not been able to find out if this was Kempter’s mark, but I like to think that this was Kempster’s experimental stair before he tackled the one at St. Pauls. This flight has a swept soffit, with very distinct rebates between the treads, whereas the Dean’s stair has rectangular shaped treads with hardly any rebate between treads.

This is a privately owned building, and is visible from Pytt’s Lane.

English Heritage’s building number: 41998