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- stairs have existed as long as architecture. Primarily utilitarian and often designed with defence in mind, they became grander from 1500 onwards as houses were able to accommodate larger constructions.

Curtail - a bottom stair, longer than the rest, to support a newel
Dogleg - a flight of stairs which doubles back on itself.
Flying - a stair cantilevered from the wall of the stairwell without a newel.
Geometric - a flying stair whose inner edge is curved.
Newel - central post supporting a spiral stair, also the main posts at the beginning and end of a flight of stairs, carrying the handrail. Quite often, the end post is given a twist, much like a barley sugar, known as a monkey twist, while the downward scroll often found at the end of a handrail is known as a monkey tail.
Nose/Nosing - the projecting edge of a tread. A step with a round nose is sometimes referred to as bottle-nosed.
Riser - the height of an individual step.
String - the supports for the steps.
Tread - the horizontal surface of each step. The going is the same thing, but is properly measured as the horizontal difference between successive nosings.
Winder - a tread which is wider at one end.