‘Dutch Billys’

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  • #709923

    Zap
    Participant

    I’m curious about how many remaining examples of Dutch Billy architecture remain throughout Dublin city.

    I was intrigued the first time I became aware that this architecture style (with its distinctive high front gables) had been so prevalent in Dublin – previously I had only associated such structures with the Netherlands. I have also seen pictures of some of the structures which existed – mainly in the Liberties. This style seemed to be the vernacular style of that area for a large part of its history until the early part of the 20th century when most were cleared.

    In that area itself I am now only aware of one such building (on Kevin St.) which seems to have maintained its original architectural style and Dutch Billy gable. In the rest of the city I am only aware of one more such building, on Leeson St.

    I’m curious – are there any more of these left?

    #799165

    Anonymous

    Leeson Street one is a fake repro!

    There remains several of these buildings at the south-side of Stephen’s Green – namely those past Newman House. The Parapets are straight, but the window sequences indicate that the parapet was at one stage of the “Dutch” Billy style.

    College Green used to have loads – many have now got new exteriors – Number One shop as an example, but once were Dutch Billy Parapets – the interiors are still intact.

    Some still exist on Camden St. – though the parapets were changed to flat-one’s in 19th c.

    There ya go!

    #799166

    Anonymous

    Thanks a lot Seerski.

    I was suspicious of the Leeson St. one – its looked like too good of an example but does look well regardless.

    From what you say though, there are very few which have the original exteriors which make them so unique? (I don’t think I’ll be seeing the interiors of any………..).

    #799167

    Anonymous

    Loads of ‘Dutch Gables’ on High Street ….Oh I forgot that they are just contrivances fancifully harking back to an era long past…aka pastiche shite.

    #799168

    Anonymous

    Pastiche seems to be a favoured word on this website.

    I’ve seen them and think they don’t look that bad – though the car park on the ground floor ruins them and cuts them off from any real interaction with that street and doesn’t make them real.

    #799169

    Anonymous

    Ouch!! Such vulgarity!

    The one on Kevin Street that you mention is a 19th century replica of a building that was there before. Also, there are plenty of Dutch-style interiors still around in the Gorges St., Camden St., Stephen’s Green axis. Also I think there is one or two remaining on Molesworth Street – these especially deserve checking out.

    #799170

    Anonymous

    The best ones (aka pastiche Georgian) are on Gardiner Street ……..Underground car park …….Rusticated timber featured gardens with classical cherub statues ……One doorway to the entire building block…….etc etc…

    #799171

    Anonymous

    I know them – they are very poor.

    #799172

    Anonymous

    there’s a rather fine example at the top of manor st. but like most it has a parapet at the top, the original roof is still clearly visible, and a rather peculiar tower at the rear!

    #799173

    Anonymous

    This house on Manor St. sounds very interesting – I’ll have to talk a wander up there soon.

    One more question – was this architectural style unqiue to Dublin or does it exist in other parts of the country?

    #799174

    Anonymous

    I think some people on this site have a fixation with the word ‘pastiche’. One would almost think that designing a building in an established style is a bad thing! In fact worse – for some people here it is the ultimate faux pas in architectural terms. What a load of old cobblers! The established styles of architecture – Classical, Art Deco, Modernist whatever – are living styles. Their continued use should be encouraged not avoided.

    #799175

    Anonymous

    I would agree. I think what matters is the quality of materials and design.

    For example, Seerski says above that the Dutch Billy style building on Leeson St. is a fake and that the one on Kevin St. is also a replica. These buildings look great from outside. They are replicas which from the outside appear to have used good building material and have stood the test of time. Now at this stage they are the only examples of exterior Dutch Billy style left in the city – even though they don’t date from the original building of this style of house in Dublin in the early 18th century, whilst those that were/are Dutch Billy, don’t look it from the exterior i.e. don’t have the distinctive gable.

    #799176

    Anonymous

    But why are they ‘fakes’ or ‘replicas’ or ‘pastiche’? Why not just a Dutch Billy style building built in xxxx year? What makes some buildings the ‘genuine article’ – the fact that they were built in the period in which the style was most prominent? Surely a building should be judged on its adherence to the architectural principles of a said style.

    #799177

    Anonymous

    Quite a fewof these houses survive but most have lost their gables and roofs in favour of Parapets sometime in the last century.

    The Leeson St House is grossly offensive to me – probably because I can remember the battles to save the original houses in 1979 (gorgeous things inside), in fact it was one of the reasons that I decided to become an architect.

    Manor St has several of these particularly along the stretch accessed from Brunswick St – some stil have remnants of interior fittings.

    A beautiful little one at 88 capel Street was demolished illegaly behind a retained facade only about two years ago (needless to say the City Council did nothing about it).

    Smithfield had three very intact houses until about four years ago – complete with much of their interiors.

    42 Manor St was originally (around 1700 a three storey hip roofed house (probably not unlike King James Mint in Capel St – it then acquired a pair of gables on the front facade chich seem to have survived until the late 18th early 19th centuries. Its in prety good condition internally and retains quite a lot of its oiginal fittings.

    My favorite is a very simple side entrance houe on Montpelier Hill which is an 18th century re-facading of an early to mid 17th century building (possibly military – eg: barracks, armoury or garrison outpost). Most of the interior is a mish mash of 18th and 19th century work but the 17th century form is still very apparent.

    The 1916 ‘surrender house’ so much in the news at present is a stripped out and re-facaded Dutch Billy.

    Diffeneys Menswear was until about five years ago intact internally from first floor up and must have been externally re-facaded sometime in the 1950’s – 60’s.

    I suspect that most of the ‘ornate ‘gabled houses which survive (eg: Molesworth St)were either substantially ‘tarted up’ or partially rebuilt in the 19th century, the pattern of gable fronted building in Dublin – from contemporary paintings and prints and old photographs seem to have been very ‘basic’ in configuration – simple triangles with granite copings. Still they’re a bit of fun.

    #799178

    Anonymous

    From the sounds of all of this, no original 17th century gable seems to exist any more, apart from the ones on Molesworth St.

    If the house on Leeson St. was only built after the 1970’s I am surprised at what a good quality replica it is. I don’t understand though why a group of people would tear down Georgian structures to build it though.

    I think it would be fantastic if the 1916 Surrender House were incorporated into the new development planned for the area, whilst being refacaded back to its original Dutch Billy appearance. I think it would look something completely different in Moore St.

    I would love to see some more of these gables restored as I find the style very interesting……………….but alas, its not likely.

    #799179

    Anonymous

    There is one original in exceedingly tatty state on Market Street, just off Newmarket in the Coombe. Its next to the eircom depot – see it now before it gets swept away!

    #799180

    Anonymous

    I live right around the corner from it! – its on Mill St. Its scheduled as a national monument according to An Taisce’s site. I’m not sure about the grading of buildings but would think National Monmument status has to be pretty high. But it is in a terrible state. Eircom own it and are quite happy to see it waste away – though I read that a lot of its interiors are in storage for the day it may be restored – which I certainly hope it in – within the context of the complete redevelopment of Mill St.

    That street and Newmarket itself is a mess at the moment full of warehouses and, in a city with such amazingly high property prices, a huge record storage facility (surely this shoudl be out in the suburbs somewhere – can those paper records be that valuable!).

    #799181

    Anonymous

    Fake/replica – the fact is they do not come from the era that those hoses were synonymous with – the late 17th/early 18th century. The Leeson Street one is from the early 1990s!!!!!!!

    The dutch billy gable was the style typically employed by the Hugenot and Williamite families – very political!!!!

    #799182

    Anonymous

    I remember that i was in the National gallery recently & i was intrigued to see a painting of a gathering of militia i think – around 1798 in Dublin in one of the squares and there were a few Dutch gable type houses in the backround. I thought they looked strange as they are a bit of an oddity nowadays. Maybe old paintings (& prints) would be the best way to research their past existence in Ireland.

    #799183

    Anonymous

    Yep, the Volunteers on College Green, probably the best painting conveying what an area of Dublin was originally like.

    Surprised nobodys mentioned the Rubrics in Trinity, dating from 1700 with their extremly convincing 1890 dutch gables, and overall the oldest structure on the Trinity campus.

    I don’t think there are any standard 17th century townhouseinteriors left in the city, aside from a few staircases that have survived subsequent alterations.
    Standard features included corner fireplaces, lower ceilings than the later Georgians and simple cornicing.
    Oh,and the obligatory green or buff coloured panelling of course (yuck)

  • Author
    Posts
  • #709923

    Zap
    Participant
    • Offline

    I’m curious about how many remaining examples of Dutch Billy architecture remain throughout Dublin city.

    I was intrigued the first time I became aware that this architecture style (with its distinctive high front gables) had been so prevalent in Dublin – previously I had only associated such structures with the Netherlands. I have also seen pictures of some of the structures which existed – mainly in the Liberties. This style seemed to be the vernacular style of that area for a large part of its history until the early part of the 20th century when most were cleared.

    In that area itself I am now only aware of one such building (on Kevin St.) which seems to have maintained its original architectural style and Dutch Billy gable. In the rest of the city I am only aware of one more such building, on Leeson St.

    I’m curious – are there any more of these left?

    #799165

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Leeson Street one is a fake repro!

    There remains several of these buildings at the south-side of Stephen’s Green – namely those past Newman House. The Parapets are straight, but the window sequences indicate that the parapet was at one stage of the “Dutch” Billy style.

    College Green used to have loads – many have now got new exteriors – Number One shop as an example, but once were Dutch Billy Parapets – the interiors are still intact.

    Some still exist on Camden St. – though the parapets were changed to flat-one’s in 19th c.

    There ya go!

    #799166

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Thanks a lot Seerski.

    I was suspicious of the Leeson St. one – its looked like too good of an example but does look well regardless.

    From what you say though, there are very few which have the original exteriors which make them so unique? (I don’t think I’ll be seeing the interiors of any………..).

    #799167

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Loads of ‘Dutch Gables’ on High Street ….Oh I forgot that they are just contrivances fancifully harking back to an era long past…aka pastiche shite.

    #799168

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Pastiche seems to be a favoured word on this website.

    I’ve seen them and think they don’t look that bad – though the car park on the ground floor ruins them and cuts them off from any real interaction with that street and doesn’t make them real.

    #799169

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Ouch!! Such vulgarity!

    The one on Kevin Street that you mention is a 19th century replica of a building that was there before. Also, there are plenty of Dutch-style interiors still around in the Gorges St., Camden St., Stephen’s Green axis. Also I think there is one or two remaining on Molesworth Street – these especially deserve checking out.

    #799170

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    The best ones (aka pastiche Georgian) are on Gardiner Street ……..Underground car park …….Rusticated timber featured gardens with classical cherub statues ……One doorway to the entire building block…….etc etc…

    #799171

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    I know them – they are very poor.

    #799172

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    there’s a rather fine example at the top of manor st. but like most it has a parapet at the top, the original roof is still clearly visible, and a rather peculiar tower at the rear!

    #799173

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    This house on Manor St. sounds very interesting – I’ll have to talk a wander up there soon.

    One more question – was this architectural style unqiue to Dublin or does it exist in other parts of the country?

    #799174

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    I think some people on this site have a fixation with the word ‘pastiche’. One would almost think that designing a building in an established style is a bad thing! In fact worse – for some people here it is the ultimate faux pas in architectural terms. What a load of old cobblers! The established styles of architecture – Classical, Art Deco, Modernist whatever – are living styles. Their continued use should be encouraged not avoided.

    #799175

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    I would agree. I think what matters is the quality of materials and design.

    For example, Seerski says above that the Dutch Billy style building on Leeson St. is a fake and that the one on Kevin St. is also a replica. These buildings look great from outside. They are replicas which from the outside appear to have used good building material and have stood the test of time. Now at this stage they are the only examples of exterior Dutch Billy style left in the city – even though they don’t date from the original building of this style of house in Dublin in the early 18th century, whilst those that were/are Dutch Billy, don’t look it from the exterior i.e. don’t have the distinctive gable.

    #799176

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    But why are they ‘fakes’ or ‘replicas’ or ‘pastiche’? Why not just a Dutch Billy style building built in xxxx year? What makes some buildings the ‘genuine article’ – the fact that they were built in the period in which the style was most prominent? Surely a building should be judged on its adherence to the architectural principles of a said style.

    #799177

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Quite a fewof these houses survive but most have lost their gables and roofs in favour of Parapets sometime in the last century.

    The Leeson St House is grossly offensive to me – probably because I can remember the battles to save the original houses in 1979 (gorgeous things inside), in fact it was one of the reasons that I decided to become an architect.

    Manor St has several of these particularly along the stretch accessed from Brunswick St – some stil have remnants of interior fittings.

    A beautiful little one at 88 capel Street was demolished illegaly behind a retained facade only about two years ago (needless to say the City Council did nothing about it).

    Smithfield had three very intact houses until about four years ago – complete with much of their interiors.

    42 Manor St was originally (around 1700 a three storey hip roofed house (probably not unlike King James Mint in Capel St – it then acquired a pair of gables on the front facade chich seem to have survived until the late 18th early 19th centuries. Its in prety good condition internally and retains quite a lot of its oiginal fittings.

    My favorite is a very simple side entrance houe on Montpelier Hill which is an 18th century re-facading of an early to mid 17th century building (possibly military – eg: barracks, armoury or garrison outpost). Most of the interior is a mish mash of 18th and 19th century work but the 17th century form is still very apparent.

    The 1916 ‘surrender house’ so much in the news at present is a stripped out and re-facaded Dutch Billy.

    Diffeneys Menswear was until about five years ago intact internally from first floor up and must have been externally re-facaded sometime in the 1950’s – 60’s.

    I suspect that most of the ‘ornate ‘gabled houses which survive (eg: Molesworth St)were either substantially ‘tarted up’ or partially rebuilt in the 19th century, the pattern of gable fronted building in Dublin – from contemporary paintings and prints and old photographs seem to have been very ‘basic’ in configuration – simple triangles with granite copings. Still they’re a bit of fun.

    #799178

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    From the sounds of all of this, no original 17th century gable seems to exist any more, apart from the ones on Molesworth St.

    If the house on Leeson St. was only built after the 1970’s I am surprised at what a good quality replica it is. I don’t understand though why a group of people would tear down Georgian structures to build it though.

    I think it would be fantastic if the 1916 Surrender House were incorporated into the new development planned for the area, whilst being refacaded back to its original Dutch Billy appearance. I think it would look something completely different in Moore St.

    I would love to see some more of these gables restored as I find the style very interesting……………….but alas, its not likely.

    #799179

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    There is one original in exceedingly tatty state on Market Street, just off Newmarket in the Coombe. Its next to the eircom depot – see it now before it gets swept away!

    #799180

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    I live right around the corner from it! – its on Mill St. Its scheduled as a national monument according to An Taisce’s site. I’m not sure about the grading of buildings but would think National Monmument status has to be pretty high. But it is in a terrible state. Eircom own it and are quite happy to see it waste away – though I read that a lot of its interiors are in storage for the day it may be restored – which I certainly hope it in – within the context of the complete redevelopment of Mill St.

    That street and Newmarket itself is a mess at the moment full of warehouses and, in a city with such amazingly high property prices, a huge record storage facility (surely this shoudl be out in the suburbs somewhere – can those paper records be that valuable!).

    #799181

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Fake/replica – the fact is they do not come from the era that those hoses were synonymous with – the late 17th/early 18th century. The Leeson Street one is from the early 1990s!!!!!!!

    The dutch billy gable was the style typically employed by the Hugenot and Williamite families – very political!!!!

    #799182

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    I remember that i was in the National gallery recently & i was intrigued to see a painting of a gathering of militia i think – around 1798 in Dublin in one of the squares and there were a few Dutch gable type houses in the backround. I thought they looked strange as they are a bit of an oddity nowadays. Maybe old paintings (& prints) would be the best way to research their past existence in Ireland.

    #799183

    Anonymous
    • Offline

    Yep, the Volunteers on College Green, probably the best painting conveying what an area of Dublin was originally like.

    Surprised nobodys mentioned the Rubrics in Trinity, dating from 1700 with their extremly convincing 1890 dutch gables, and overall the oldest structure on the Trinity campus.

    I don’t think there are any standard 17th century townhouseinteriors left in the city, aside from a few staircases that have survived subsequent alterations.
    Standard features included corner fireplaces, lower ceilings than the later Georgians and simple cornicing.
    Oh,and the obligatory green or buff coloured panelling of course (yuck)

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