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Because no evidence for the stair’s missing railing, balusters and newels was found, the Restoration Team had to turn to other period houses in the region.  While using examples from other sites was rare during the Restoration, in several instances it was the only way to develop an appropriate design.  The best example of a similar stair was found at a ca. 1763 house called Castle Hill.  Not only was Castle Hill built at approximately the same time as Montpelier, but it was also found Virginia’s Piedmont region and was built by a family with a social standing similar to the Madisons.  Additionally, President Madison’s father had  leased two of his enslaved carpenters to help with the construction of Castle Hill in the 1760s, further strengthening the connection between Montpelier and Castle Hill.  Because of these connections, it was believed that the trim found on the ca. 1763 stair at Castle Hill was a close match to Montpelier's long missing ca. 1764 stair.


The ca. 1763 elevation of Castle Hill in Albemarle County, Virginia