A massive lathe in England.

On a recent trip to Scotland and England we had dinner with friends at The Walnut Tree, in Chichester England.  The inn was ancient and filled with great antiques and oddities.  Right beside the bar was this massive, very low lathe. Pub lathe 1I was not able to find out anything about the lathe. The centers are about a foot lower than what we normally see. Also, the poppets are about 8-10 inches square. The centers are made from about 1" square bar stock.  Since there is no drive evident I am assuming that this was a spring pole lathe of some sort.  Whoever built it definitely did not want it to vibrate.

Here are a couple more pictures of the lathe.  Does anyone have any ideas about why this lathe is so low and massive?

pub lathe 2pub lathe 3