enclose

Masha*

Senior Member
Russia: Russian
Hi!
Could you please explain what does it actually mean - "the railings enclosed the area steps"? Does it mean that the railings went along the staircases? Here is the context:
"A fitful moon illuminated short flights of honed steps that led up directly from the pavement to the ommaculate front doors with their gleaming brass knockers. Neat black railings enclosed the area steps that led down to the kitchen regions."
Thank you in advance
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    It means that they went around the top of the stairwell at street level, probably including an iron gate. This is a traditional arrangement in British town houses of this type.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Member Emeritus
    English - England
    Hi!
    Could you please explain what does it actually mean - "the railings enclosed the area steps"? Does it mean that the railings went along the staircases? Here is the context:
    "A fitful moon illuminated short flights of honed steps that led up directly from the pavement to the ommaculate front doors with their gleaming brass knockers. Neat black railings enclosed the area steps that led down to the kitchen regions."
    Thank you in advance

    The key word here is area; this is a flat space at basement level in front of a house - typically there are doors from the basement onto the area, and steps going down from the street onto the area, so that someone can go down to the basement without going through the front door. The arrangement allows deliveries to the basement, where the kitchen might be, for instance, without troubling people on the ground floor. The well above the area was often enclosed by railings, to prevent people falling into the area from the pavement; very often the steps down to the area would be guarded by a lockable gate in the railing. This is what is being referred to, I think; had I been able to find a picture I would have posted a link. The arrangement was very typical of large Victorian houses in English towns.
     
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