Stephen is curious to know why the steps he snapped at Number 15 the Paragon are shaped like this instead of just being straight up and it seems like a good question to me.
They don’t seem to take much less pavement space than regular stright-up jobs, and besides, lack of pavement space isn’t an issue here.
Neil Rhind’s otherwise definitive The Paragon and South Row, Blackheath doesn’t really go into building design, it’s much more a social history – and probably the better for that. What it does tell me though, is that number 15 was the porter’s lodge. The porter had to do a lot of fetching and carrying of mail, odd jobs around the estate and general inspection. Some were ex-soldiers – a couple became Chelsea Pensioners - and in the later years they wore a smart livery to run errands etc.
If I were a Phantom Phlunky, with fancy frogged frocking, the last thing I’d want to do is step out of my front door straight into a muddy puddle. It’s my guess these steps doubled as a mounting platform for horse riders.
But maybe someone else has a better idea?