‘Dutch Billys’

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    • #709923
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      I know them – they are very poor.

    • #799172
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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
      Inactive

      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)

    • #799184
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There is a house with a dutch style gable on talbot street, its part of a furniture shop, i don’t know anything else about it.

    • #799186
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      10 Mill street is part of an application from Osprey Property(Eircom) to turn their large holding on Mill Street into Apartments. Part of the application mentions removing the existing flat roof from Nr. 10 and putting a slate roof back on it. There was a conservation report conducted by the Dublin Civic Trust – who no longer exist I think – but the website remains. .

      I’m surpised to see 10 Mill Street in Red brick. I thought Red Brick only got popular in Victorian times.

      Also on the way up to see it I came accross this other Meteor sponsored Dutch Billy.

      However I don’t believe the everybody in Dublin in 1650/1700 lived in houses as grand as these. Is there a record of the vernaclular house for that period?

    • #799187
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The Dublin Civic Trust http://www.dublincivictrust.ie/ remains extremely active, even if their News & Events page hasn’t been updated for a long time.

    • #799188
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Our dwindling stock of gabled houses is a topic that has come up on various threads, ‘Dublin Vistas’, ‘Thomas St./James’s St.’ etc., but I think, as an endangered species, this forgotten remnant of our built heritage deserves a thread of it’s own.

      The explosion in the construction of curvilinear gabled houses throughout Dublin, and across most of the other urban centres of Ireland, in the last decades of the 17th century, and which continued to be the dominant urban style in residential architecture into the 1740s, deserves a closer look.

      The best published references that I know of are: the ‘Dutch Billys’ article by Peter walsh in the 1973 ‘Liberties of Dublin’ ed. Elgy Gillespie, and pgs. 29 -61 of McCullough’s ‘Dublin, an Urban History’. Maurice Craig ‘Dublin 1660 – 1860‘ just about acknowledges the presence of gabled houses but his passion was for the classical Georgian city.

      So completely have the gabled streets of Dublin been lost, or masked, that the tendency has been to regard the dimly remembered curvilinear gabled houses as some kind of neanderthal off-shoot in the evolutionary process that shortly afterwards delivered the presumed perfection of ‘Georgian’ Dublin. Part of this may have been down to the agressive marketing of Luke Gardiner and his circle, who, in a very short space of time, managed to persuade upwardly mobile Dubliners that, not only were they living in the wrong part of town, but they were also living in the wrong design of house.

      One of the ironies of the ‘Dutch Billy’ is that, by about 1730, the style was so ubiquitous and so well developed, that it must have constituted something very close to a national architectural style. Dispite having huge loyalist Williamite conatations, curvilinear gabled houses appear to be an Irish phenomenon, were fasionable in Dublin in the years before there was any consciousness of Dutch Billy himself, and most amazingly, the ‘Dutch Billy’ does not seem to exist in England at all. You can scan the backgrounds of all the Hogarth prints and Canneletto paintings of London you like, there are no Dutch gabled houses there!

      McCullough points to the obvious trading links with Europe, and Holland in particular, as the likely source of the
      initial outbreak, and Dutch architects were evident on the ground in Dublin in the period, but that can only be part of the story. On very few occassions, before or since, have Dublin and London taken such divergent routes.

      The fact that the pivotal battle of the era took place in Ireland, and the fact that it ushered in an unprecedented period of stability, prosperity and growth, may go towards explaining the extraordinary degree to which Loyalist Ireland took William of Orange to their hearts, perhaps up to and including the desire to live in houses that honoured his memory in bricks and mortar. In England, where William was probably more regarded as just another king, and where Holland was more directly perceived as a fierce trading rival, no particular desire may have emerged to go Dutch in house design.

      Whatever about the origins of the style, what developed here was a full blown architectural movement with a complex language and a real urban vitality that none of Luke Gardiner’s sober ‘Georgian’ street would ever equal, in my opinion. To compare a complex ‘Dutch Billy’ corner with the half hearted efforts of the Georgians is to compare a piece of sculpture with a photocopy. The development of the close twin or ‘Siamese’ gabled house, as a response to the common urban phenominon of the wedge shaped corner site, may even have been a Dublin invention.

      The loss that Dublin suffered in going over to the Luke Gardiner led English Palladian model, and turning it’s back on it’s indigenous urban tradition, is not just about the near irradication of the whole record of an architectural style, it’s also about the substitution of a slightly superficial, segregated and imported model, for a truely urban, mixed use and socially integrated model.

      I don’t want to keep dumping on Luke Gardiner, given that he has attained such iconic status as the developer that all other developers are supposed to look up to, but his legacy is decidedly mixed at best. If we use the anology of red squirrels and grey squirrels. Imagine Dublin as a little wooded glade alive with happy little native red squirrels buzzing about in sylvan harmony. Then a man walks into the clearing with a sack of foreign ravenous grey squirrels and proceeds to dump them out. I’m just suggesting that, in that analogy, that man is Luke Gardiner, and he is an ugly man, and he smells.

      I’ll stick up as many pictures as I can over the next while to try and illustrate the points I’ve made here, but the primary concern has to be to safeguard the few houses that remain, albeit in their altered Georgian form.

      This stretch of James’s Street opposite the Fountain contains at least two originally gabled houses, the pink house was a simple small curvilinear gabled house and it’s neighbour to the right, dispite it’s minute size, was a twin gabled house, which I think illustrates the real consciousness of the urban rhythm that the sequence of gables were capable of creating.

      No. 10 Mill Street now and as illustrated in the 19th century below.

    • #799189
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      aren’t we forgetting the pastiche apartments around back lane/cornmarket and the single building at 18 lwr leeson st that seems a bit bizarre-I have never ascertained if it is meant to be a replica of an original building on site or a folly? The only extant gable fronted buildings in D2 I can think of off the top of my head are on Molesworth st and Ely Place

    • #799190
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tommyt wrote:

      aren’t we forgetting the pastiche apartments around back lane/cornmarket and the single building at 18 lwr leeson st that seems a bit bizarre-I have never ascertained if it is meant to be a replica of an original building on site or a folly? The only extant gable fronted buildings in D2 I can think of off the top of my head are on Molesworth st and Ely Place

      Those two on Molesworth St. are original curvilinear gabled house that were masked, probably in late 18th century, with a flat parapet, and then subsequently had a bit of a gabled pedement top put back on. I have a lot of stuff on Molesworth St. I’ll post up when I get a chance.

      There was an intact gabled house on Leeson St. up to about 1980. It was masked as a flat parapet, but in a way that you could still see the outline of the curvilinear gable, but it was down further towards Stephens Green than the present pastiche structure. It’s hard to know what the planning rational was for the new structure, same as with the Cornmarket scheme.

      I couldn’t find the Rocque’s map sheet that covers the south west city but I scanned up a copy from the St. Lukes conservation report that shows Newmarket in all it’s glory and I stuck a red box around no. 10 Mill St. (which was never quite as off-axis at it looked here) and the corner house (now a pub) on Newmarket / Brabazon Place.


      As narrow as Mill Lane was, it was still fronted by houses the whole way down to Mill Street.


      A pair of Dutch Billys on Newmarket, after the roof had been trimmed down to a hip at the front and the gables trimmed to the profile of the roof.


      The importance of this structure is hard to exagerate. Newmarket Square was slightly smaller than Smithfield but, whereas
      Smithfield appears to have been mostly three storey, Newmarket was probably all four storey and coming east from triangular
      gabled Chamber Street, it must have been stunning.


      On both elevations the blocked up second floor windows (identifal size and spacing to the first floor) can just be made out behind the render, meaning that all this house is actually missing is the gabled top storey.

    • #799191
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster
    • #799192
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I always suspected there was something more going on with Gray’s of Newmarket- thanks for the info.

      Isn’t it shut at the moment? The last few times I’ve passed it’s been boarded up, possibly dating from the shooting there a couple of years (?) ago. A cause for concern?

      Your b&w photo reminds me of this old Lawrence one that I’m quite fond of- I used to live around the corner.

      (From the NLI collection.)

    • #799193
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There were AFAIK two on Longford st. right up to the 1980s-they feature in a neville Johnson picture book or some other Dublin street scenes photo collection I have seen before

    • #799194
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter (or should it be Sherlock Holmes?): good bit of sleuthing there. I find the ‘pastiche’ argument perplexing – this pub is a clear case for restoration to show what a DB would have looked like in this location (Dublin Civic Trust interested?). There is enough left to avoid the charge of Disneyfication. Come to that, Newmarket (great space waiting to be reborn) could be developed with tall, gabled bldgs not apeing some old style but getting inspiration from them, i.e a square of tall, gabled, narrow-plotted contemporary buildings recapturing the spirit of the place. Or is that too much of a challenge and we prefer a ‘mixed-use’, bigfoot slab with a few quirky (‘cutting edge’) details?

    • #799195
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Good stuff on Gray’s, gunter. There may be more remains of these houses around than we think.

      A common alteration to cruciform-roofed gabled houses seems to have been where the front gable was gived a hip and a flat parapet.

      So what was originally this

      … sometimes became this

      … then maybe also the whole façade was given later-Georgian proportions, as seen here at No 30 Thomas Street (centre building).

    • #799196
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Devin:
      I completely forgot about those three houses on Haymarket. Weren’t they knocked for some appalling extension to Tully’s Tiles? without a wimper! Wasn’t there even some Emmet connection to one of them, or was that the Georgian on the Green beside the College of Surgeons? You’re absolutely right that a lot of these houses still exist behind altered or rebuilt facades, the whole of the east side of South Fredrick Street, seen from the Kilkenny Design block, (with I think only one exception), is cruciform roofed, former gable fronted, houses with panelled interiors.

      In most cases, the Georgian rebuilding of the facade, or the masking of the gable, is now an integral part of the story of the house, and you wouldn’t attempt to reverse back to the original design, but in a few cases, like 10 Mill St. or Gray’s of Newmarket, the case for a scholarly restoration has to be a very strong one.

      In the case of Mill Street, neither version of the house now has a roof, so conservation will involve reconstruction, either way. The 1890s alterations were a pretty wilful act of mutilation on a wonderful, (by then nearly 200 year old), house, and to invest one cent in re-enacting this mutilation would be pretty hard to take when we’re dealing with a ‘last of it’s kind’ scenario.

      I think the significance of Grays is that it represents a last chance to restore the one remaining house out of the 64 that lined the edges of this wonderful, European scale, 17th century urban space. I don’t know if there’s any immediate threat to Gray’s, but I wouldn’t like to bet against it. Maybe DCC are already on top of this, you’d like to think they would be, but, every time I go down there, like you, I half expect to see a pile of rubble.

      I agree a disturbing 100% with johnglas, that what Newmarket needs urgently is a new vision with a comprehensive set of guidlines that would encourage the redevelopment of the remaining properties on the square in a way that respects the original plot widths and the scale of the original buildings with some tasty new in-fill.

      Surely it’s not too late to rescue Newmarket with some creative contemporary interventions, and with a restored Gray’s in the mix, giving it, what Smithfield has lost, a tangible link to it’s original appearance, we could have a valuable, and largely forgotten, urban space restored to Dublin’s consciousness, and not just another anonymous mix and match apartmentscape.


      Existing view looking west on Newmarket towards Chamber Street. The stone warehouses on the right form the west corner of Brabazon Place, opposite Gray’s on the east corner. The warehouses are derelict and look to be prep’d for re-development. They are 19th century replacements of the original gabled houses, but they are part of the story of the space and should be retained and worked into the redevelopment rather than bulldozed and forgotten.


      The redeveloped east end of Newmarket, with Ward’s Hill off to the right.

      Whatever about the quality of the Zoe scheme at the east end of Newmarket, it does at least reflect the original scale of of the houses which were long gone by the time this apartment scheme was built in the early 90s. The most recent apartment block is the one on the left which rather crowds out the remains of St. Luke’s church behind and seems to muscles it’s way onto the square without a lot of obvious sensitivity to the historical context.

    • #799197
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @johnglas wrote:

      Come to that, Newmarket (great space waiting to be reborn) could be developed with tall, gabled bldgs not apeing some old style but getting inspiration from them, i.e a square of tall, gabled, narrow-plotted contemporary buildings recapturing the spirit of the place. Or is that too much of a challenge and we prefer a ‘mixed-use’, bigfoot slab with a few quirky (‘cutting edge’) details?

      This level of agreement can’t last, but, while we’re at it, here’s a photograph of some modern gabled in-fill from Bremen that impressed me enough to get the camera out.

      I’m not saying it’s perfect, but I think it illustrates your point.

      The plaque on the wall records what this little square was like before the war.

      There are times that I think we might have been better off if we had been bombed to dust on a single night, rather than suffer the slow grinding destruction of neglect over decades. At least then we might have had to take a long hard look at the city and we might have noticed that bits were missing and, just maybe, a bit of thought might have gone into putting that right.

    • #799198
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter: I’m disturbed you’re disturbed, but I’ll try and keep up the good work! The Bremer Wohnungen are just fabulous – but do you see any Brit/Irish architect having the balls? Maybe that’s post-postmodern historical/contextual – no, that’s too hard isn’t it?

    • #799199
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’m not touching that.

      Here’s that photograph of the door of no. 10 Mill Street. It was published in ‘The Heart of Dublin’, by Peter Pearson in 2000. A very good book, a great source for research on the city, and a real tear-jerker.

    • #799200
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Zap wrote:

      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.

      I can’t find any photographs of the last surviving ‘Dutch Billy’ on Leeson St., but I found a drawing that shows it and a few of it’s neighbours, including the outline of a cruciform roofed house, shortly before demolition in 1981.

      Also, I want to post up the front page of a pamphlet that protested about the demolition at the time and included a photograph of the panelled interior. I’m not sure if the scanned text is of readably quality (doesn’t look like it to me), but if people are interested in it, I could try it again bigger and scan up the other 4 pages, which cover more on the house and other planning issues, including why Dublin should have a light rail system!

      It’s not that a lot of people weren’t making sense back then, it’s just that nobody in control was listening.


      Also an old drawing of a ‘Dutch Billy’ and a triangular gabled neighbour behind the fountain in James’s St.

    • #799201
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Great drawing – it reflects one of my earliest conscious memories of Dublin, when I noticed an area south of St Stephen’s Green with row after row of derelict ‘Georgian’ houses, obviously waiting quietly for the bulldozer. In 1981, I was still a planner (I would stop doing that two years later) and had taken a complete scunner to the amount of destruction going on (Glasgow was a bombsite – like Dublin, it was scarcely bombed during the war, all the damage was home-grown).
      So, however disturbing, I’m going to continue speaking out against bad development, no matter what ‘the establishment’ may think – have you seen how deadly dull most of the projects in this month’s AI are? Apart from the Killiney house (and that’s an exercise in over-salaried self-indulgence), the corporate stuff is worthy but unexciting. A whole town-full of that stuff would send us all to sleep.

    • #799202
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      as much as it breaks my heart its clear we havent learnt from the mistakes made in the not too distant past. I have a real fear that the remianing areas of the cities with sizable concentrations of historic building are simply being left to rot.

      The state of thomas street and the Northern gerogian quarter is a disgrace . The intentional dereliction that developers are permitted to get away with is a joke. Its time we take stock of what we have left and protect it.

    • #799203
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      aj: I’ve long thought that Dublin needs to define the city as the area within the canals and then adopt a strong policy with a presumption against demolition and for conservation. Your City Fathers (and Mothers) could do worse than have a trip to Edinburgh; it has its faults (oh, yes!) and can be very grey on a grey day, but it has a strong image of itself and takes no prisoners when it comes to conservation. The idea that ‘site accumulation’/demolition/rebuild/we-need -to-develop-the-whole-block-in-a-trendy-style equates with progress is just junk. It equates with making a fast buck and destroying the city’s patrimony, and too many architects seem prepared to go along with it.

    • #799204
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @nono wrote:

      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!

      That big house on Manor Street is a gem, but I would be 95% certain it was never a ‘Dutch Billy’. It’s in the same tradition, but I think it’s a transitional house using many of the features and building techniques of the gabled tradition, but with the new flat parapet from the start.

      Almost every other house in Dublin with a pair of apex roofs was a twin ‘Dutch Billy’ (Bachelors Walk, James’s St. etc.), you simply didn’t go to the bother of constructing two roofs unless it was to exploit the potential for a pair of gables, but the Manor St. house is hipped front and back and has, what appears to be, an original moulded granite coping to the parapet, which is quite rare.

      The orange brickwork around many of the windows could be considered an original feature in London, but here, it’s definitely a repair.

      The scale of the windows on the second floor is inexplicable, you’d need to have a good rummage around the inside to begin to explain these. The building is a creche, so if anyone has a small kid . . .


      This is the nearest London equivalent that I know of, Dr. Johnston’s house of circa. 1700. If this house was in Dublin, there is no question it would have had twin Dutch gables, like 10 Mill St., but there is no evidence that this was the case in London

    • #799205
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This is an excellent thread gunter, keep it up 🙂

      Not sure if Id necessarily agree with you about poor ol Luke Gardiner, but I certainly do think you have made a very worthwhile case as to the need to document and debate the Billys.

      @gunter wrote:

      That big house on Manor Street is a gem, but I would be 95% certain it was never a ‘Dutch Billy’.

      I beg to differ – looking at that snap, it appears to me that the top two corners are of red brick, wheras the mass of the building is in brown brick, with a definate Billy outline as best seen by the gentle curves in the top left corner.

      @aj wrote:

      as much as it breaks my heart its clear we havent learnt from the mistakes made in the not too distant past. I have a real fear that the remianing areas of the cities with sizable concentrations of historic building are simply being left to rot.

      The state of thomas street and the Northern gerogian quarter is a disgrace . The intentional dereliction that developers are permitted to get away with is a joke. Its time we take stock of what we have left and protect it.

      Aj I 100% agree with you. The topic of Derelict Dublin may well merit a thread on its own. In the meantime, what are the primary reasons for dereliction in Dublin – is it the failure of the Derelict Sites Act to have worked, or the failure of the Living Over The Shop scheme, or the cuts/ under-resourcing of heritage protection?

    • #799206
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      hutton:

      I want this to be a ‘Billy’, I just don’t think it is. I think that newer brickwork is just a repair.

      On the elevation, as I see it, there’s no real reason to see the top floor windows as anything but original. If it was a twin gabled house, I think the top floor would have reduced down to two windows and they would have moved them in to more closely line up with the apexes of the roofs. As well as that, in the gabled tradition, it was the practice for all windows to be of the same size no matter which floor they were on, the composition of the ‘Dutch Billy’ relied, very successfully, on the variety and rhythm of the gables. Once you leave the gabled tradition, the smaller top floor windows come in and, shortly after that, the full Georgian graded window heights according to the varied ceiling heights reflecting the importance of the rooms by floor which, I admit, was a nice little refinement if they hadn’t gone on for the next 100 years and flogged it to death.

      For me, the matching front and back hip profiles to the roofs and the parapet details on the Manor Street house are the clincher. If this was an early make-over, would they have gone to the bother of hipping the roofs at the back as well? and sticking in a full flat parapet at the back? This didn’t happen to any other ‘Dutch Billy’ that I know of.

      On your pal, Luke Gardiner, here’s a way you can get him off the hook:

      They give a date of 1728 for Henrietta Street, which is the same date thats been given for Molesworth Street for example. This is the stark contrast that I see and the reason that the glowing legacy of Luke Gardiner need a radical revision. Molesworth Street is fully gabled, socially mixed (includes tripple gabled Lisle House) and it responsibly in-fills obvious development land between Stephen’s Green (a City enterprise) and Trinity College. Henrietta Street (the Luke Gardiner venture) is an exclusive up-market cul-de-sac of London type houses off an arterial route, with no attempt to integrate into the existing street or development pattern.

      If it could be established, for example, that this Manor Street house was originally flat parapeted, and if it could be dated to before 1728, then I’d have lay off on Gardiner on that front anyway, and just concentrate on giving him a good kicking on the ‘shifting the city off it’s access’ point, and the ‘one house design fits all’ point.

      Best of luck with that.

    • #799207
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Great thread.

      Molesworth Street was such a criminal loss to the city. As Freddie O’Dwyer noted in Lost Dublin: “Of the twenty-three Georgian houses on the north side, only four survive, two on each side of Edward Holmes’ Masonic Hall of 1868. The pair to the west, Nos 15 and 16, built by Benjamin Rudd, carpenter, have idential plans and were originally brick-fronted and gabled. The gable of No. 15 which was added in late Victorian times and was dated 1755 belies the origins of the house which Rudd sold to one Edward Deane of Terenure in 1740.”

      This is them today, both with stunning panelled interiors. The rust colour has always been a delight.

      One building I’m not sure about being a Dutch Billy is No. 32 directly across the road, prior to its bizarre Victorian – and probably later again – remodelling.

      A picture of the building, possibly from the late 18th century, shows it as having a flat parapet and small window opes precisely matching those of the upper two floors.

      Yet this house apparently dates from c. 1725, and fascinatingly a single wall of panelling survives with cornice to part of the entrance hall, in spite of the wholescale 19th century alterations, let alone the modern office interventions. Also as you move up the staircase which is late 18th century, you suddenly encounter a startling remnant of early Georgian Dublin in the form of a single stretch of barley-sugared balustrading with Corinthian newel posts! Thankfully some good old-fashioned Georgian penny-pinching dictated its survival high up in the house.

      And as to the evidence of Dutch Billy, and a large one at that, surely such a fenestration pattern to the rear is suggesting something?

      (I thought the pink rather eye-catching).

      A house of this scale would not be out of place adjoining the tripartite gabled home of Speaker Foster that was once located right next door,

    • #799208
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Great thread.

      One building I’m not sure about being a Dutch Billy is No. 32 directly across the road, prior to its bizarre Victorian – and probably later again – remodelling.

      A picture of the building, possibly from the late 18th century, shows it as having a flat parapet and small window opes precisely matching those of the upper two floors.

      Yet this house apparently dates from c. 1725,

      And as to the evidence of Dutch Billy, and a large one at that, surely such a fenestration pattern to the rear is suggesting something?

      A house of this scale would not be out of place adjoining the tripartite gabled home of Speaker Foster that was once located right next door,

      Graham:

      I think you’re spot on there on no. 32. I’m not familiar with the late 18th century print that you mentioned though, (unless it’s this one from ‘Lost Dublin’) and I hadn’t realized there were so many bits of the original structure left inside.

      Freddy O’Dwyer had speculated that Speker Foster’s house was ‘something of a hybrid, with gables on top of the parapet’ and that it was to the left of the building in your photograph, no 32 (where 29, 30 & 31 are now), having been knocked and ‘replaced before 1821’ But actually Speker Foster’s triple gabled house was ‘Lisle House’ at 33 Molesworth Street, and it’s still there, the big five bay house to the right of your no. 32. So the yellow rendered house that you’ve shown and the five bay brick ‘Georgian’ to the right are the two gabled houses shown in Penny Journal print reproduced in Freddy’s book.



      There are photographs from the early 1970s that show the original three perpendicular roofs to no. 33, that originally lined up with the three gables, peeping up behind the later Geoprgian parapet.

      The shameful gutting and removal of the roofs from no. 33 took place as recently as 1974, under the direction of a firm of architects who are still prominent in the city. The recent planning application (reg. no. 2775/07) by Benson & Forsyth to build a large office blook to the rear and further alter the two houses, totally underplayed the importance of the two houses.

      The planning application was refused by DCC following some withering comments by the conservation officer, the brilliant Clare Hogan again (she of the savage attack on the Clarance Hotel proposal, which unfortunately wasn’t listened to). I particularly liked her put down of the prestigeous Benson & Forsyth: ‘The National Gallery extension is not considered an acceptable precedent as it . . . is a major public institution’ and implied, this is an office block!

      If only someone had pointed this out to our ‘DARE TO BE THE BLOODY SAME’ friends out on the Merrion Road.

      Possibly the cruelist irony for the great ‘Dutch Billy’ that was no. 33 is that when it’s main staircase was ripped out in 1974, it was given a new home in 13 Henrietta Street!

      I don’t know if great staircases have souls, but this must be like taking a lifelong Everton fan and burying him in a Liverpool jersey.

      For the record, I very muched liked the Benson & Forsyth plan, except for the further alterations to the two houses, and I would be far more in favour of stuff like this, densifying up under-used sites in the city centre, than the random depositing of ‘urban’ centres on distant suburban and green field sites.

    • #799209
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I am in number 33 every fews days and there is very little orginal features left. the entrance hall retains some panelling and plaster work thats it

    • #799210
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Do any of the internal walls survive, or is it all open plan offices? What about the basement?

    • #799211
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      They appealed that Molesworth St refusal, but then withdrew. Revised proposal is awaited.

      Feel free to return to Molesworth Street after this post!!

      @gunter wrote:

      completely forgot about those three houses on Haymarket. Weren’t they knocked for some appalling extension to Tully’s Tiles?

      I don’t remember them myself]
      Existing view looking west on Newmarket towards Chamber Street. The stone warehouses on the right form the west corner of Brabazon Place, opposite Gray’s on the east corner. The warehouses are derelict and look to be prep’d for re-development. They are 19th century replacements of the original gabled houses, but they are part of the story of the space and should be retained and worked into the redevelopment rather than bulldozed and forgotten.[/QUOTE]Yeah, the stone warehouse on the corner (‘the potato market’) is a protected structure and is being incorporated within approved Ref. 5410/04 (the other semi-demolished one beyond it is not protected & is not being kept), for a big scheme also including repair of the fine Georgian Brewer’s house round the corner, 10 Ardee Street – Image: http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/8113/sheehanimages8fe.png Although this scheme was approved 3 years ago, there’s no sign of anyting starting.

      If McCullough Mulvin have their way Newmarket will look quite different in the future (go to ‘view all projects’ and ‘masterplanning’): http://www.mcculloughmulvin.com/pages/moviepg.html

      The early-18th century gabled house on Montpelier Hill deserves an appearance in the thread.

    • #799212
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Reluctant as an alien (!) to intrude on this debate, but doesn’t the side of M’worth St opposite the Freemasons’ Hall (what an Aladdin’s Cave that is!) provide somrthing of a template for when the 80s (?) bland monstrosity at no. 14 is eventually knocked?
      The newbuild B+S scheme looks very good and looks as though it would provide an internal court/garden to the rear of nos. 32 and 33, which they should leave well alone or, shock-horror, restore as part of a pro bono gesture. (What’s that? says the company accountant.)

    • #799213
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What is up with all of the images not working (apart from the old Blackpitts)?

    • #799214
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Is the black and white building to the left of the Newmarket image Art Deco? Also, what is the interesting-looking tower peaking up above the awful utilitarian lamppost?

    • #799215
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s Art Deco-ish, but I don’t know the date. I suspect gunter might?

      Interestingly, although it appears to be used as a warehouse, one Sunday a few months ago while I was giving a friend a guided bike tour of parts of the city we noticed that it seems to be some sort of church for Africans- families were coming out of a ‘goods entrance’ in the most fantastic outfits, and the kids were running around the square. One of the few signs of real life in that part of town (I don’t count tyre skid marks).

    • #799216
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      @Devin wrote:

      The early-18th century gabled house on Montpelier Hill deserves an appearance in the thread.

      Someone made a huge effort restoring that a few years ago – my business partner’s house is also in the picture so am very familiar with that street – some lovely period houses on it

    • #799217
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yes absolutely. The render around the opes has clearly been touched up following the insertion of what are perfect reproduction windows. What a gem of a house.

      Though, eh, how do you get into it? Is it amalgamated with an adjoining house? Is it that little far door that’s actually in the other house?!

    • #799218
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The houses on Montpelier would be immensely improved if either the cement render was removed or they were painted in almost any colour other than grey (and the trailing wires were removed, but I’ve given up commenting on that).

    • #799219
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Graham – its the little door

    • #799220
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      ooooh – I want it! 🙂

    • #799221
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      It’s a big house – great backyard on that side.. slope down to back of garage on Parkgate street

    • #799222
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What a weird, unexpected street Montpelier Hill is.

    • #799223
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Cool. It looks quite big alright. You can easily see how everything else grew up around it too.

      Thanks for that info gunter about Molesworth Street. Yes the print I referred to was that Penny Journal one you posted (I just couldn’t be bothered scanning it lol).

      It would certainly explain a fact from Lost Dublin I found hard to reconcile with the street: when it was suggested that three c. 1800 houses now occupy the site of Speaker Foster’s house. It seemed excessive. Yes poor old Lisle House, utterly gutted and with a flat roof now too. I’d no idea it was Foster’s house – in hindsight it matches perfectly.

      It was also a coincidence that the yellow building happens to roughly match that adjoining Foster’s in the picture, hence the confusion.

      Now that we know the yellow building is indeed that smaller gabled house pictured above, as far as I know the panelling inside survives to the side entrance hall in the building, which would match with the location of the doorcase seen above. I must check that out. Out of interest, how did you know Lisle House was Foster’s house, gunter?

    • #799224
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Yes the print I referred to was that Penny Journal one you posted (I just couldn’t be bothered scanning it lol).
      Out of interest, how did you know Lisle House was Foster’s house, gunter?

      You just couldn’t be bothered scanning the single most important print of Dutch Billys in existence! You’d rather hold discussions on coffee emporia!

      We’ll move on.

      On the Speaker Foster’s house, when I saw the1970s photograph with the three roof ridges peeping up over the parapet, the penny dropped.

      For a bit of confirmation, the disposition of the windows on the back elevation of no. 32 is strikingly similar to the arrangement on the front elevation as shown in the Penny Journal print, which is the point that you were making at the start, surely no. 32 is a gabled house.

      My render skills are primitive, but one of these days I want to have a go at creating a decent render of this stretch of Molesworth Street as it would have been originally using the the surviving fabric as a template.

      missarchi could probably knock this up in a couple of hours.

    • #799225
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for that (and I don’t recall talking about coffee outlets :confused:)

      We have of course the most famous former Dutch Billies in the city, on St. Stephen’s Green south.

      They couldn’t have made it more obvious if they tried really, could they? The 1750’s equivalent of sticking a fibreglass portico onto your Corpo house.

      The attic storey clearly refaced yet again at a later date.

      And their delightful Dublin merchant doorcases.

      And next door – in this case it’s possible the attic storey is an entirely new storey, in spite of the clustered windows.

      And half way down the Green, Georgian London makes a fleeting visit to Dublin.

      Suspicious goings-on here. Also note the trademark enormous (partially crudely rebuilt) shared chimney stack which literally holds the buildings up.

      Something very odd with this one too – anyone care to hazard a theory?

      Its development looks upside down. I suspect this is an early parapeted house, c. 1740, built with many windows across the facade originally. Then it was modernised to the lower facade later in the 18th century and the brick unified across all floors, thus leaving the old-fashioned fenestration stranded above in an otherwise late Georgian elevation…

    • #799226
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      And half way down the Green, Georgian London makes a fleeting visit to Dublin.

      Graham, these are great photos. I think these two are the first of the terrace of five gabled houses we can see behind the tree on the right in the Malton view of Stephen’s Green to the right of the square block of ‘Newman House’. The first four are nice straight forward, four storey, ‘Dutch Billys,’ but the fifth one, if Malton is accurate, must have been a stunning five storey ‘Billy’ with an Amsterdam scale gable and pediment.

      There are three more good ‘Billys’ on the east side of the Green beside the Bank of Ireland on the corner with Merrion Row, two standard cruciform roofed, four storey, houses and a little double gabled gem with a cute doodcase (the gables re-done as Victorian dormers). The interior of the double gabled house looks in mint condition. It was up for sale last year and if the Lotto had come through, this would now be gunter’s house.

    • #799227
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yes, Graham, great shots of these delightful houses. Just to the left you can see the polychrome brick entrance to the University Church – incongruent, but magnificently so. But that bellcote! Just stuck between the two gables and quietly oxydising away; an interesting rebuild project.

    • #799228
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      anyone else prefer the open-ness of the Green in that picture to today’s model? Not the entire prairie nature but there’s a good argument for opening it up more – remove the railings and give some visual permeability. Anyway great thread but that’s all I have to contribute 😉

    • #799229
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve been waiting for CologneMike to post this photograph of ‘Dutch Billys’ in Limerick, which was published in ‘Historic Limerick’ by Laurence Walsh in 1984, (a booklet that he clearly has), but since CologneMike is in denial of Limerick’s ‘Dutch Billy’ past, I”ll post it up myself.


      Together with other glimpses of ‘Dutch Billys’ in paintings and prints of Limerick, the photograph shows how thoroughly the curvilinear gabled architectural movement had penetrated the urban areas of Ireland by the first half of the 18th century. I’m trying to trace a similar photograph, or possibly a print, that I saw once of a terrace of gabled houses in Belfast, which was described in a caption as ‘Dublin style houses’.

    • #799230
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Here’s a scan from ‘The New Neighbourhood of Dublin’ showing gable-fronted houses in Hendrick Street in 1952.
      Apolgies for the quality of the scan.

      Anyone any opinions on the two Parnell Street buildings with single windows on the top floor?
      Apologies for the ubiquitous buses.

    • #799231
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @newgrange wrote:

      Anyone any opinions on the two Parnell Street buildings with single windows on the top floor?
      Apologies for the ubiquitous buses.

      I think you’re right about the Parnell St. pair.



      There isn’t a good vantage point to get a clear shot at the rear, but the stairs/return arrangement and the slightly arched window heads are consistent with gabled houses.

      Rocque’s map shows these two as having right hand returns, but they actually have a central ‘paired’ return. The massive central chimney stack is a good indicator that the pair belong to the gabled tradition.

      The most facinating thing about this pair though, is the three roofs. Peter Walsh has a note in his ‘Liberties of Dublin’ Dutch Billys in the Liberties article to the effect that there was an ‘ . . example where three gables spanned two houses . . . in Bishop Street’. I can’t find any pictures of the Bishop Street example, but I think this could be another example here on Parnell Street.

      The Parnell Street houses are not in great condition, and it’s really important that they get surveyed in detail before anything bad happens to them. If we’re right about these houses being another variation in the ‘Dutch Billy’ repertoire, it shows again, not only how widespread these houses were in Dublin, by the middle of the 18th century, but also, the degree to which the architectural language had developed, either to resolve issues that had emerged, like the troublesome shared valley gutter situation, or just to intensify the rhythm of the gables on the street frontage.

      If this was, in fact, a pair of houses designed to form a triple gabled composition, it’s probable that the single windows on the upper floors were more closely lined up with the left and right roof volumes and that some kind of blind window , or panel, was inserted in the central gable. Around this time, or slightly later, something similar was being done with the pair of classical ‘Georgian’ houses on Stephen’s Green, near the College of Surgeons.

    • #799232
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      newgrange:


      That shot of Hendrick street is a puzzle. I didn’t think there were that many houses on Hendrick St.

      Rocque just shows six conventional, probably gabled, houses and four shallower, probably vernacular type, house towards the corner with queen Street.

      None of the houses in the photograph seems to match the one surviving house on Hendrick Street, which lost it’s gable a long time ago, and which had a real butcher job done on it around 1990 when a developer (possibly Zoe) absorbed it into an apartment scheme.


      A drawing from the mid 80s shows the same last house on Hendrick Street (looking towards Haymarket with St Michan’s tower in the background) with original flush window frames and something odd going on with the entrance door, all of which were dumped or mutilated in the renovation. Back in the 1990s this probably counted as a ‘conservation gain’,

    • #799233
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      On Hendrick St. I thought I had posed up this recent pic of the last surviving gabled house (less it’s gable) on Hendrick Street for comparison with the 1980s sketch, a couple of days ago, but, since it didn’t stick, here it is again.

      In slightly better condition, but this time altered almost beyond recognition by our 18th and 19th century predecessors, are these three, former ‘Billys’ on the east side of Stephen’s Green, near the Merrion Row corner.

      At a guess, I think the cute one with the doll’s house door may have been a twin gabled composition, with the Victorian dormers replacing the original gable windows. The frilly plaster window surrounds are another example of the Victorians not being able to keep their grubby hands off other peoples’ buildings. The interior seems to be pretty intact, as was mentioned earlier in this thread.

    • #799234
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      something odd going on with the entrance door,

      Wouldn’t that be a carriage arch beside the front door in that drawing?

    • #799235
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      One of the well informed and intrepid posters on here should go down and check out No. 38 Fenian Street. It’s beside the gingerman pub. I have been intrigued by this building since this thread got a new lease of life

    • #799236
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Let us not forget The Kingdom ; here is a Dutch gable (front entrance) on a house in South Kerry
      K.

    • #799237
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      That was a house? It looks like some sentinel from McCaig’s Tower in Oban. 🙂

      Where is it in Kerry? I might be down Tralee way this weekend.

      tommyt- I have plans re your request. Pray the rain keeps off.

    • #799238
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tommyt wrote:

      One of the well informed and intrepid posters on here should go down and check out No. 38 Fenian Street. It’s beside the gingerman pub. I have been intrigued by this building since this thread got a new lease of life

      Not sure about this one tommyt. This one is just outside the range of the Rocque maps, so we don’t have that base level of certainty to rely on. The rule of thumb is ‘Dutch Billys’ stopped being built, even on secondary streets, by about 1745 and Rocque is 1756, so if its not on Rocque, it’s not a Dutch Billy.

      The front is 19th century yellow brick and the window arrangement doesn’t really give any cause to believe that the the present simple triangular gable represents a rebuilding of an earlier ‘Dutch Billy’ gable. Having said that, the rear elevation retains one flush window frame which could just push it back into gabled house territory. Further east on Fenian Street is a fine early 5 bay, three storey over basement house, which I remember had a similar neighbour to the right which was destroyed by fire, maybe ten or fifteen years ago.


      I hope that the office development that the auctioneers sign appears to advertise on this property doesn’t involve the demolition or disfigurement of this house. It would be unforgivable if a rare early house like this was lost, or diminished at this stage.

      Dedicated ‘Dutch Billy’ anoraks might be interested in that fabled 19th century photograph of no. 10 Mill Street that was discussed earlier in this thread. I think I have a copy of it tracked down and if it comes through, I’ll post it up.

    • #799239
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      cheers gunter- much obliged for the info. ‘Marita’s’ house I hope will retain some layout features at the very least. IIRC when you went into the shop for a sandwich the ground floor was laid out on 2 levels behind the counter from what you could make out. I can’t recall the story behind Cumberland House from ‘The Destruction of Dublin’ but the usual shenanigans went on when it was constructed that I would presume lost buildings of a similar calibre on the streetscape.
      Coincedently I got the complete Rocque 1756 Map on 4 x A2 sheets the other day , I look forward to finally going over it in proper detail…

    • #799240
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      That was a house?
      Where is it in Kerry? I might be down Tralee way this weekend.
      .

      ctesiphon – it’s in S. Kerry, Knowing your love of a quiz, clues are (a) it is surprisingly recent, (b) by a well known Irish architect. Guesses?
      Kb.

    • #799241
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tommyt wrote:

      Coincedently I got the complete Rocque 1756 Map on 4 x A2 sheets the other day , I look forward to finally going over it in proper detail…

      Are they printed on olde worlde yellow paper? I love those maps, they are a total treasure trove. I’ve lost my south-west sheet, it must have gotten rolled up with something else, I expect it’ll turn up some day.

      Here’s that photograph of 10 Mill Street!

      I am totally indebted to a local resident, Michael Kavanagh, for finally turning this up. This will cost gunter many pints of Guinness over the years.

    • #799242
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There is a copy of the fantastic ‘Panoramic View of Waterford’, by Willem van der Hagen, dated 1736, in the the ‘Arts’ page of the Irish Times today. It show nearly half of the quay frontage occupied by three and four storey ‘Dutch Billys’. Sorry about the poor quality of the copy, but it’s still worth picking out a few of the bigger houses for comment.

      The pink and yellow houses, marked with a red and a blue X respectively are five bay, central door compositions, each crowned by a single gable, with more than a passing resemblence to the Marrowbone lane and Ward’s Hill houses in Dublin, that have tended to be regarded as odd and rare manifestations of the ‘Dutch Billy’ tradition.

      Further along the quays to the right, I marked with a green X another five bay mansion with a central door, but this time the composition is crowned by three uniform gables, very similar to Speaker Foster’s House on Molesworth Street, which has also been regarded as a bit of an oddball.

      More evidence of how developed and widespread the ‘Dutch Billy’ tradition had become in Ireland by the third decade of the 18th century!

    • #799243
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Given that Waterford’s quay still has a huge amount of old buildings standing, it’s likely that some of those gabled houses still exist behind later alterations, as you get in Dublin, eh?

      Back to Dublin for a minute.

      Cheers for putting up the 10 Mill St photo, gunter. See what you mean about the quality, though!!

      @gunter wrote:

      … the one surviving house on Hendrick Street, which lost it’s gable a long time ago, and which had a real butcher job done on it around 1990 when a developer (possibly Zoe) absorbed it into an apartment scheme.


      A drawing from the mid 80s shows the same last house on Hendrick Street (looking towards Haymarket with St Michan’s tower in the background) with original flush window frames and something odd going on with the entrance door, all of which were dumped or mutilated in the renovation. Back in the 1990s this probably counted as a ‘conservation gain’,


      On the subject of Hendrick Street, this proposed development lodged in December for the adjoining site to the east got a right drubbing of a refusal in February: <a href="http://195.218.114.214/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=6660/07&theTabNo=2&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%20Ref. 6660/07

      Around the corner in Queen Street, this building (arrow) is another early ‘suspect’.

    • #799244
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      not von dutch but i have a question since im more victorian than georgian

      if you where building a mock geogian joint in a well known spot conservation zone and the rest would you opt for vic windows???? The view is clearly better?

    • #799245
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @KerryBog2 wrote:

      ctesiphon – it’s in S. Kerry, Knowing your love of a quiz, clues are (a) it is surprisingly recent, (b) by a well known Irish architect. Guesses?
      Kb.

      Sorry for the delay. I will confess I’m stumped on this one.

      Unless it was your good self, sir?

      (I’m way better at setting this type of question than I am at answering it. :o)

    • #799246
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      Sorry for the delay. I will confess I’m stumped on this one.

      Unless it was your good self, sir?)

      :confused:I’ve no architectural link, professionally, just have an interest in buildings.:)

      The ruin is that of Rossdohan House, and is between Kenmare/Sneem, near Parknasilla. The first house of note on the site was designed by John Pollard Seddon (architect of Univ. Coll. Wales, etc. ) about 1880. It was rather an odd building from the photos I’ve seen, a cross between gingerbread cottage and mock gothic. Thankfully much of it was ivy-clad. It was burned in late 1922 and ownership later passed to a Nicholas Fitzgerald, (born Sauer, in South Africa).
      Fitzgerald/Sauer successively commissioned various architects – reputedly about 12 – to design him a Cape Dutch house. One was his cousin, Magda Sauer, whose proposal was declined as impracticable, as it called for the slaughtering of several oxen for thongs to tie the timbers in lieu of nails and blood for the plastering. The job was eventually taken on by Michael Scott, (yes, that one) who came up with what looks like a copy of Groot Constantia, complete with a thatched roof. Built in the late 1940’s, the main stonemasons were the Egans, same family as the Kerry footballers. It’s been a ruin since 1955, when it was again destroyed by fire. .According to local legend some butter-paper thrown on a fire, floated up the chimney, landed on the thatch and up it went.
      Incidentally, Magda was the first female qualified architect to practice in South Africa and was married to the Scandinavian engineer who designed the Table Mountain cablecar.
      Her bio is here http://books.google.ie/books?id=rl8nkyID3WsC&pg=PA223&lpg=PA223&dq=magda+sauer&source=web&ots=AHm-i3zz6W&sig=_WLXMCWPGfN0pnQa3EbEjtj7Maw&hl=en

      KB.

    • #799247
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A couple of nice murials on the wall of the Belgard Luas stop, they’ve probably been there for ages, I just noticed them. That is definitely a ‘Billy’ in the centre of the first shot and a terrace of some nice steep triangular gables in the second. Don’t know about that yellow modernist block, there’s no attempt to address the urban grain, or established plot width and no attempt to harmonise with the predominant finish! Where were the planners?

      It would be nice if the old gabled houses in these murials represented some deep folk memory at work, but it’s probably just that the artists come from Gdansk.

    • #799248
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      was just wondering what are the elements required for a building to be defined as a dutch billy?

      There were just a few buildings I was wondering about if anyone could enlighten me:
      eddie rockets on dame street (hopefully attached)
      a building where capel street meets bolton street
      and beside the loop line bridge on talbot street

    • #799249
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Pilear wrote:

      was just wondering what are the elements required for a building to be defined as a dutch billy?

      There were just a few buildings I was wondering about if anyone could enlighten me:
      eddie rockets on dame street (hopefully attached)
      a building where capel street meets bolton street
      and beside the loop line bridge on talbot street

      The ‘Dutch Billy’ was a development of the simpler terraced houses illustrated in Speed’s map of Dublin of 1610. These earlier 17th century houses, being typically deeper than they were wide, were simply roofed with a triangular gable to front and rear. This common house type existed all over Europe and was itself a development of the early medieval house that would have started out as free standing, but, over time and as space became more critical, became joined up into terraces. The Germans say that they were the first to put a first floor on the slavic long house, but that doesn’t take into account possible surviving Roman and other early urban precedents.

      About the time that the ‘Dutch Billy’ emerged, the cruciform roof appeared. The big advantage of the cruciform roof was that it was more suited to the terraced situation where it greatly shortened the length of valley gutters between adjoining houses. As well as that, the cruciform roof dramatically increased the amount of usable floor area in the attic storey, an attribute that was utilized to the full in the ‘Weaver’ houses common in the Liberties. The weaver houses were typically very frugal in appearance and though contemporary with the ‘Dutch Billy’ resolutely stuck to the simple triangular gable.

      The standard layout of the ‘Dutch Billy’ saw front and back rooms share a huge central chimney stack in the form of corner fireplaces, with a tiny return room entered off the main back room. The stairwell was always on the opposite side to the return. The return is a very important identifying feature, because the subsequent standard ‘Georgian’ house didn’t have any and also because the pitch of the roof of the return can give a clear indication of the angle of pitch of the main roof, where this is often now missing, or altered. In the standard ‘Dutch Billy’, entrance hallways were often very narrow and the hall, stairs and most of the rooms were panelled.

      Another identifying feature is the brickwork. The standard ‘Dutch Billy’ was constructed entirely in imported rich red brickwork. Later ‘Georgian’ house usually used cheaper local bricks (usually more yellow in colour) on the rear elevations. Even on front elevations, ‘Georgian’ brickwork, (except very early examples, as on Henrietta Street etc.) were seldomr as deep red in colour.

      Obviously the most characteristic feature of the ‘Dutch Billy’ was the curvilinear, or sometimes stepped, gable topped with a small pediment. There are a bunch of lesser characteristics, but I think that’s the gist of it.

      Your Dame Street house is a possible Victorian rebuilding of a ‘Dutch Billy’, but I’m not sure. Malton shows one good quality, 5 storey, ‘Dutch Billy’ at a similar location in his print of the City Hall (Royal Exchange), but his house is three bay wide, diminishing down to two on the fourth floor, with a single window, or possibly a plaque, in the actual gable. I don’t think it’s your house though, as it seems to be on the corner of a side street, presumably Sycamore St.

      The Capel Street house is an authentic ‘Billy’ that has had it’s missing top storey rebuilt very recently. I don’t think they set out to match the original detail, maybe they felt they didn’t have enough information to attempt an accurate ‘restoration’. At least this important house has been saved, next door could use some attention now.

      A couple of nice ‘Billys’ on Thomas Street, that are due for the chop soon, are these two beside the old library, now ‘The Brewery Hostel’. I’ve faintly sketched in a possible configuration of the gable on the nice three bay on the right. The rear elevation shows this one is missing it’s return, but the bright red brickwork of this return structure is still evident in the party wall of the adjoining ‘Georgian’ house.

      The cute little return structure on the other, slightly wider, house (adjoining the old library) is almost the only identifying feature left to indicate that this house was also a probable ‘Dutch Billy’. That and the very low hopper heads and down pipes on the rebuilt front elevation. The rear view shows that the angle of pitch of the main roof had subsequently been greatly lowered, when compared to the roof pitch of the return.

    • #799250
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for that gunter – an excellent summation. Lovely little sketch-up there too.

      Yes these two structures have intrigued me also re Billy status – never had a chance to go snooping around the back. Generally the sparcer and cruder the alterations to the front, the more likely it is that the building is particularly ancient – particularly true of Thomas Street. It’d be very interesting to get hold of a couple of those red bricks in the adjoining party wall and get a date on them. Yes I’m absolutely convinced the adjoining ‘Georgian’ was orginally a Dutch Billy also. Time after time in the city proper you see Dutch Billys coming to the end of their life in the early 19th century (sole surviving original sash in this case typical c. 1830), by which time even the lowest rank of self-respecting merchant would refuse to live in such an outdated house – exactly the same of which happened with Georgian refacings in the 1930s-1950s. So interesting how these waves of alterations take place – usually every 150 years.

      I see no reason why that gable should not be reinserted – it’s done all over Europe. But why talk about gables when the building itself is unlikely to be there in a couple of years.

      The little Georgian squeezed in to the left of Pilear’s suggested Billy is also of great intrigue, though not for the same reason. Far too much fenestration for a building to be healthy. I love passing it by – never fails to catch the eye.

    • #799251
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      I see no reason why that gable should not be reinserted – it’s done all over Europe. But why talk about gables when the building itself is unlikely to be there in a couple of years.
      .

      it facsinates me how building of 200+ years old can simply be pulled down when they have clearly some architectural importance no matter what their current state.

      Surely there is something that can be done to protect the little that we have left ?

    • #799252
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @aj wrote:

      it facsinates me how building of 200+ years old can simply be pulled down when they have clearly some architectural importance no matter what their current state.

      Surely there is something that can be done to protect the little that we have left ?

      This site is part of the Digital Hub. When the state chose not to lead the development of the Digital Hub itself, in 2005, but rather to put out the holdings to tender in two lots, part of the advertisement included a 3D render which showed this reasonably intact section of Thomas Street retained with some contemporary in-fill in the gaps with some ‘medium rise’ in the mix. Unfortunately, the developers who bought Lot 1, (the south side of Thomas Street) threw out these modest proposals and went into full slash and burn mode, proposing the demolition of all the ordinary houses on Thomas Street, leaving only the old library on this stretch, and throwing in a battery of Shanghai style high rise towers on the former Guinness site to the rear.

      This application was refused permission, but you can sense a air of regret in the planner’s report that permission couldn’t have been granted. Essentially the dense cluster of high rise was a step too far.

      In the current proposal for Lot 1, I think some of the houses on this stretch of Thomas Street may have got a reprieve, but I don’t think these two former ‘Billys’ are included. To be honest I’ve lost track of this proposal. I remember looking at some of the elevation drawings and literally not being able to figure out what they were actually proposing. I’ll have to try and get another look at it.

      Less threatened by development, but still in danger from neglect, is this fine little probable former ‘Billy’ at 25 Aungier Street. The proportions here are very similar to the 3 bay Thomas Street house. The rear has lost it return, but the slight recess in the rear elevation (right side) is a good indication of it’s original existence. The left, or stairwell, side of the rear elevation retains a piece of the original gable which is quite steep and should give a clear indication of the original profile of the main roof.

    • #799253
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter: what is DCC about allowing that level of neglect and dereliction on Aungier St? ‘Bridal Designs’ and its next-door neighbour are just too dire to live; by contrast, the pub is doing a good job retaining its Victorian (you know what I mean) credentials. Surely DCC should have some kind of grants scheme to enable commercial premises to retain their historic character, even if they don’t avail of the Living over the Shop scheme (does it still exist)?

    • #799254
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      This site is part of the Digital Hub. When the state chose not to lead the development of the Digital Hub itself, in 2005, but rather to put out the holdings to tender in two lots, part of the advertisement included a 3D render which showed this reasonably intact section of Thomas Street retained with some contemporary in-fill in the gaps with some ‘medium rise’ in the mix. Unfortunately, the developers who bought Lot 1, (the south side of Thomas Street) threw out these modest proposals and went into full slash and burn mode, proposing the demolition of all the ordinary houses on Thomas Street, leaving only the old library on this stretch, and throwing in a battery of Shanghai style high rise towers on the former Guinness site to the rear.

      This application was refused permission, but you can sense a air of regret in the planner’s report that permission couldn’t have been granted. Essentially the dense cluster of high rise was a step too far.

      In the current proposal for Lot 1, I think some of the houses on this stretch of Thomas Street may have got a reprieve, but I don’t think these two former ‘Billys’ are included. To be honest I’ve lost track of this proposal. I remember looking at some of the elevation drawings and literally not being able to figure out what they were actually proposing. I’ll have to try and get another look at it.

      Less threatened by development, but still in danger from neglect, is this fine little probable former ‘Billy’ at 25 Aungier Street. The proportions here are very similar to the 3 bay Thomas Street house. The rear has lost it return, but the slight recess in the rear elevation (right side) is a good indication of it’s original existence. The left, or stairwell, side of the rear elevation retains a piece of the original gable which is quite steep and should give a clear indication of the original profile of the main roof.

      thanks Gunter

    • #799255
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Yeah these two are most interesting. Despite the heavy alterations/rebuilding of the façade of No. 21, an original gable front is still discernible in the pattern of windows. There’s an interesting photograph in the EIS of the original Manor Park application for the site (53-storey etc. buildings), showing its 2nd floor front room where you can see the ‘inside’ of the gable front, although as you said gunter the pitch has been lowered somewhat.

      Also there are photographs of the interior of No. 20 and it has an original heavy early 18th century staircase with barley sugar balusters … at least for the first 10 steps. After that the balusters have been ripped out, and the scars are conspicuously new and raw looking … hmm

      No 21 may also have an early staircase however in the photos it’s covered over with sheet timber.

      Re demolition, the houses have a stay of execution at the moment as the latest (and third) Manor Park application has just gone in for a portion of the site which does not include them, in order to deliver the space required under the Digital Hub contract before the deadline of May ’08 (9 month extension in the case of an appeal), however the previous two applications sought their demolition …. not to mention inappropriate replacement!!! Might be worth putting elevations up if I get time.

    • #799256
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      There’s an interesting photograph in the EIS of the original Manor Park application for the site (53-storey etc. buildings), showing its 2nd floor front room where you can see the ‘inside’ of the gable front

      Also there are photographs of the interior of No. 20 and it has an original heavy early 18th century staircase with barley sugar balusters … at least for the first 10 steps. After that the balusters have been ripped out, and the scars are conspicuously new and raw looking … hmm

      No 21 may also have an early staircase however in the photos it’s covered over with sheet timber.

      Re demolition, the houses have a stay of execution at the moment as the latest (and third) Manor Park application has just gone in for a portion of the site which does not include them, in order to deliver the space required under the Digital Hub contract before the deadline of May ’08 (9 month extension in the case of an appeal), however the previous two applications sought their demolition …. not to mention inappropriate replacement!!! Might be worth putting elevations up if I get time.

      Devin: I had a quick look through the planning files earlier today and I posted up some info on these applications on the Thomas St./James St. thread. There didn’t seem to be an EIS with the second application and I could find nothing in the file on the houses to be demolished incl. 20 & 21. There was a ‘Record of Historic Structures’ document, but it just covered the Protected Structures and skipped from no. 19 to nos. 22-23 (the old library).

      No. 21 is a facinating little house, but the complete rebuilding of the front elevation, in comparatively recent times, is going to make it difficult to unravel. This house is very low and possibly suggestive of an older still triangular gabled type structure, like the Marrowbone Lane houses, rather than a curvilinear ‘Dutch Billy’.

      The interesting thing about no. 20 is that, as you say, a significant amount of the interior arrangement survives and I didn’t realise, a piece of the staircase too. The survey plans show a massive pair of corner fireplaces on each level. Most original ‘Dutch Billys’ were altered in the late 18th century and this Georgian masking is now an integral part of the history of these houses, but no. 20 has lost it’s entire top storey and like the Capel St. house, is therefore a good candidate for restoration to it’s original condition, without the dilemma of reversing later alterations. I’d much prefer to see a retained streetscape here with some careful restoration of rare and valuable house types than the bizarre brick curtain that deBlacham & Meagher have proposed to bring down over most of this streetscape.

      I took one quick copy of this proposed elevation (which is still a live planning application) and I’ll see if I can stick it up on the Thomas St. thread.

    • #799257
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ll try and scan & post those interior pictures I was talking about later in the week.

      The second application may have been under the EIS threshold.

    • #799258
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter said:

      “Less threatened by development, but still in danger from neglect, is this fine little probable former ‘Billy’ at 25 Aungier Street.”

      Not directly threatened Gunter, but the current application in for its neighbours will surely have something of an impact on it?

      I am referring to application 2651/08, (lodged on 2nd May) where Flanagan’s funeral home plan to demolish part of 19-22 Aungier street (themselves protected structures) and to build:

      “a new 26m high / 9 storey hotel building (with various building line/height and setbacks at lower levels) comprising: – 232 ensuite bedrooms, with all associated entrances, corridors exits, ramps, reception, foyer, licensed restaurant/bar, delivery areas, service areas, ESB substation and switch room with separate ramped access to 2 no. different basement levels ie: The upper basement parking to be accessed from existing archway between 22 and 23 Aungier Street will be for the sole use of Fanagan Funeral Directors to provide…”etc.

      Surely development of these will be shortly followed by the redevelopment of neighbouring 25 Aungier St.?

    • #799259
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What a fantastic thread this has become. And Gunter – what fantastic detective and reconstruction work on those photos from Thomas Street.

      Thomas Street is a fantastic street – how more fantastic it would become if these two Dutch Billys were restored – or at the very least the one on the right which is very easy to imagine as a Dutch Billy due to Gunter’s sketch. The street is an easy match for Dame Street, with more life.

      I am fascinated by the Capel Street recent reconstruction. Of course the end result isn’t great – the brick work used looks like they will be able to weather into a good match for the rest of the building – but you do have to give marks for the effort. Also, a re-rendering of the badly matched reconstruction could easily right this.

      I had no idea that Dutch Billys do still exist – though of course in just a handful of numbers compared to 50 years ago.

      Does anyone have a scan of Marlboro Lane in the LIberties? The past buildings from that area do seem quite interesting. I’d love to know their history.

      So, how could we campaign the developers of Thomas Street for the reinstatement of these buildings? I hate the obvious retentions – of course you’d keep the old library – but its all the building on that part of Thomas Street that makes the street. Why can’t people realise that? Do the planners and developers ever visit Europe? Or what do they think when they see cities such as previously mentioned Gdansk – just a waste when they could have 20 storey glass boxes instead of heritage vernacular architecture?

    • #799260
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s certainly worth a trip to Gdansk, I was there last October. The restorations are mostly 50+ years-old now and look as ‘authentic’ as you’ll get (the main street in particular is as good as any in Europe). Interestingly, at least 50% of the old centre is unrestored and the restorers did not reinstate the ‘service lanes’ behind the grand city houses ( they are now mostly parking areas and nondescript open space). So Gdansk can cash in on its heritage even more than it has. (And the people are courteous and are not falling dead drunk all over the place, as in Ireland and GB.)
      There are areas where restoration and even ‘pastiche’ are not just acceptable, but probably the best option – Thomas St and Newmarket are two of them.

    • #799261
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Zap wrote:

      Thomas Street is a fantastic street – how more fantastic it would become if these two Dutch Billys were restored – or at the very least the one on the right which is very easy to imagine as a Dutch Billy

      Zap: That sketch of a Dutch Billy top on no. 20 was a bit conjectural. I don’t have enough information to be sure that this was the original arrangement. That isn’t to say that a restoration isn’t posible, just that much more detailed survey work would be needed.

      I agree with you completely that some sort of campaign is needed to raise consciousness of this vanishing (and immensly valuable) layer of our built heritage, before there just won’t be enough left to ever be able to read this chapter at all.

      For example, there was blanket coverage in the media this week of issues to do with the Battle of the Boyne and the enduring impact on this country of William of Orange, but there wasn’t a single mention of the remarkable architectural legacy (bearing his nick name) that is inextricably intertwined with this political and historical heritage.

      I think if you go into the story of ‘Dutch Billy’ architecture, you find that there are probably two identifiable sources:

      1.

      A common North European source that developed out of the common desire to advance beyond the medieval vernacular building traditions and build modern, comfortable and impressive houses on tight urban plots. This source connects the ‘Dutch Billy’ in Ireland with the traditions that gave rise to tall gabled brick houses in parts of England, Holland and across the Baltic coast from Lubeck to Gdansk.

      2.

      The political statement source. What appears to have happened is that a small number of Dublin gentry made the remarkable decision to celebrate the triumph (on Irish soil) of William of Orange, and their own ascendancy that this event ensured, in the bricks and mortar of their own new houses.

      My gut feeling is that the second source is the one more critical to the ‘Dutch Billy’ story, but it is what happened next that is really remarkable. Within a handful of years, a full blown indigenous architectural movement had evolved, that took this initial willful idea and combined it with elements of pre-existing building tradition (in part, eminating from the first source) and brought it way beyond any two dimensional, political statement, or pattern book concept. In no time, the movement had developed a complex language to tackle and exploit tricky urban challenges like the awkward corner, or how to replace repitition with rhythm and, to a standard not equalled since, how to address and definin urban space.

      McCullough makes the point in Dublin, an Urban History, that had poverty come in the1750s, it is this version of Dublin (and the other urban centres of Ireland) that we would be familiar with today. Instead, however, the outrageous self confidence that had given rise to the movement in the first place, increasingly turned to self consciousness about it’s ever more apparent divergence from English practice. What had been architectural daring began to be percieved as backward provinciality and pride increasingly turned to embarrassment as neighbour after neighbour, either moved to more modern ‘Georgian’ addresses, or hastely modernised their homes to try to conform to the new minimalist palladian doctrine. In this way, a heavy Georgian curtain came down on this vibrant urban tradition, a curtain that it’s not easy to peep through. So thoroughly has this phase of our architectural development been erased from the urban record, that, to all intents and purposes, one of the brightest chapters in our story has been reduced to little more than a footnote.

      What I think we badly need now is a detailed inventory of our surviving stock. I’m pretty certain that enough survives to develop accurate typologies. Archaeologists do this all the time, once the typologies are cateloged and understood, it doesn’t matter how miserable the shard of pottery you find is, you can quite easily compare it’s characteristics to your typology database and the original shape and form can be deduced with very little conjecture. Buildings might be more complex than neolithic pots, but the principle is the same and they come with many more clues.

      I’m not saying we should start the wholesale restoration / reconstruction of Dutch Billys across the city, but there are examples which might merit this attention and, in any case, a 3D computer model wouldn’t be beyond our capabilities. What ever else we do, we’ve got to stop knocking these things down before we even know what we have.

      This is all too much talk and not enough pictures. Here’s another nice pair of ‘Billys’ on the north side of Thomas Street, nearly opposite the two we discussed earlier. I understand that the one on the left has a nearly intact panelled interior. Notice the very steeply pitched roof and the absolutely massive single central cruciform chimney stack.

    • #799262
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @forrestreid wrote:

      25 Aungier Street, not directly threatened Gunter, but the current application in for its neighbours will surely have something of an impact on it?

      I am referring to application 2651/08, (lodged on 2nd May) where Flanagan’s funeral home plan to demolish part of 19-22 Aungier street (themselves protected structures) and to build:

      “a new 26m high / 9 storey hotel building (with various building line/height and setbacks at lower levels) comprising: – 232 ensuite bedrooms, with all associated entrances, corridors exits, ramps, reception, foyer, licensed restaurant/bar, delivery areas, service areas, ESB substation and switch room with separate ramped access to 2 no. different basement levels ie: The upper basement parking to be accessed from existing archway between 22 and 23 Aungier Street will be for the sole use of Fanagan Funeral Directors to provide…”etc.

      I haven’t had a good look at this application, but it does appear to be for development mostly to the rear of Aungier Street, rather than directly impacting on the old houses, including protected structures, on Aungier Street itself. The fact that they don’t appear to be addressing the existing poor state of no. 22 is itself a cause for concern though. I hope somebody in An Taisce is on top of this one.

      I checked out the Hendrick Street situation, as originally posted by newgrange earlier in this thread. That 1950s photograph does appear to show the six ‘Dutch Billys’ that also appear on Rocque’s map (1756). My confusion was that the one surviving house (if you could call it that) isn’t one of the six. What now seems clear is that this last surviving house is the first of the 3, three storey, houses seen in the distance beyond the last of the 6 gabled houses. The bad news for ‘Billy’ watchers is that it appears that this house was never a Dutch Billy!

      The last three houses look very very 1740s, but Rocque shows only open space here and there is a rear view of one of the three houses in the Architectural Archive and it shows a flat rear elevation, without a return and with a tall hipped roof, just like the front. This, despite the flush window frames, would put this house, and it’s two neighbours, into the transitional category that followed the phasing out of gables. Obviously some builders clung onto some of the earlier gabled house characteristics decades after the standard ‘Georgian’ house had become established elsewhere in the city.

      I’ll post up the Hendrick St. picture again, together with a close up of the three transitional houses. The closest of the 3 three storey houses (no. 12) is the sole survivor today.

      Below is a 1960s photograph of transitional houses on James Street which show some of the characteristics a bit clearer. Tall hipped roofs, square chimney stacks (again serving corner fireplaces), but a much more frugal simplicity to the elevations. Only one of the terrace of four similar three storey houses, (no. 164) survives today, but in an increasingly derelict state. There is also a fine four storey example on Bachelor’s Walk.

    • #799263
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There has long been an assumption that the construction of ‘Dutch Billys’ petered out in Dublin around the 1740s once the standard Georgian house type, with it’s uncompromisingly flat parapet, had become established, but there are conflicting messages in the documentary evidence.

      On the one hand there are various brief references from the 1770s and 80s to ‘old houses’, definitively ‘Dutch Billys’ which we know from other sources, had only been built in the 1740s, suggesting that, by then, the style of house itself was unmistakebly from a previous era, and then, on the other hand, there is the evidence of the likes of the Moore Street terrace.

      This terrace, including the 1916 associated recently designated ‘National Monument’ houses at 15, 16 & 17, in plan, section and rear elevation, is standard ‘Dutch Billy’. Even the loss of front gable pediment and the re-fronting in late 19th century brickwork could be regarded as consistant with the characteristic fate of the ‘Billy’. The remarkable thing about the terrace is that it doesn’t appear to have been built until some time after 1756! Rocque’s map clearly shows a vacant lot, labelled ‘The Old Brick Field’, on this stretch of Moore Street.

      The evidence of the Moore Street houses leads to the inescapable conclusion that the gabled tradition flourished into a sixth, or possibly even a seventh, decade. For this terrace of, brand new, gabled houses to have been built a decade or so after, and in close proximity to, the development of Gardiner’s high status Sackville Mall, is a huge testament to the depth and rigour of the gabled tradition in 18th century Dublin.

      Unlike the Hendrick St. houses, there is nothing to suggest that the Moore St. terrace was, in any way, a hybrid, or transitional development, the only typological model that these houses fit comfortably is the standard ‘Dutch Billy’ model. Gardiner’s influence and the impact of Richard Cassells may have taken the aristocracy class down the English Palladian road, but ordinary Dubliners obviously liked their ‘Billys’.


      Survey drawings submitted with the O’Connell Street application. The rear elevation drawing illustrates the characteristic narrow return projection on the opposite side to the stairwell. The floor plans of nos. 16 & 17 have a characteristic massive central chimney stack formed by a cluster of corner fireplaces.

    • #799264
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Long shot, perhaps- I noticed in the Commercial Property pages of the IT today that 71 Camden Street (a butcher’s shop) is for sale. In the accompanying photo (page 2, sidebar), the single half-moon window in the centre of the top floor made me go ‘Hmmm’. Am I way off?

      Might try and have a look on the way home.

    • #799265
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      ctesiphon: I saw that in the paper too. The bit that worried me was the last three words ‘. . . obvious development potential’

      I think DCC are aware of 71 Camden Street, it may even be a PS, I must check it out. One of the books, possibly McCullough, flagged it as a masked ‘Billy’. It has all the attributes, the low floor to ceiling heights, the steeply pitched cruciform roof, corner fireplaces, gable to the rear. I’d love to see the inside, must make an appointment with the auctioneer. Better polish the shoes though, if I’m supposed to look like I have €1.75 million.

    • #799266
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Always loved that one – what a gem. The window is such a token gesture 🙂

      Back on Dame Street there are suspicious goings-on in respect of the gable of this previous featured suspect.

      However the main brick of the facade would appear to be Victorian machine-made brick.- and not just suggested by the darker bands, but the red brick itself is clearly ‘modern’. Bizarrely the rebuilt portions to the top appear older – perhaps just an inferior replacement brick was used. Water damage appears to be the cause of the venerable appearance to the sides. Given the somewhat dated fenestration, it’s possible the lower portion of the building was a Billy that was refaced in the late 19th century, and subsequently repaired to the gable.
      Why the building is being ‘aired’ to the extent that it is is a cause for concern 😡

      Next door is a delight.

      An18th century window clinging on in there at the top.

    • #799267
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      You guys keep identifying these examples of ‘Dutch Billies’ (there, I’ve exercised my schoolmarm tendency), which is really what a properly proactive planning section in DCC should be doing. Every time there’s some hint of works applied for or suggested, they should be in there with help and advice about how to ‘conserve’ them (in the widest possible sense). Here, these two buildings need to read as two separate volumes – the SEIKO sign should go, the entrance to the ground floor modified to reflect the difference (I presume all original detailing here is lost), any remaining interiors conserved and the brick properly repaired. These buildings are gems and part of the patrimony of the city. You can argue about the presentation of the buildings on either side, but at least they are all in good repair and have not the derelict look of, say, Thomas St.

    • #799268
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Westview in Cobh with a full set of terraced houses rising up the hill

      A few more on Shandon St.in Cork City ion various states of disrepair & a few more in the city centre itself.

      There is a fuine pair of houses with ornate gables on the Ennis Road in Limerick.

    • #799269
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      there was a fire in these two buildings recently which probably is the cause of this activity

    • #799270
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It was said earlier is this thread that the ‘Dutch Billy’ developed into a full blown building tradition with a highly developed range of typologies developed to address particular site conditions.

      A particular favourite appears to have been the tappered corner site. Unlike their Georgian successors, who were often clueless when faced with anything other than a square site, Dublin’s ‘Dutch Billy’ builders absolutely revelled in angled corners.

      We can only speculate about the treatment of many of the angled corners that appear in Rocque’s map, but one or two examples survived long enough to be photographed and these few examples hint at the depth and ingenuity of the tradition.

      Probably the best example to study is the junction of New Row South, Ward’s Hill, Mill Street and Blackpits, in the Liberties. Three of the four corners here produced angled building plots that appear to have been developed simultaneously and with real synergy and must have appeared in the 1720s as a genuine urban declaration of intent. We have scant information on the two western corners, but a series of early photograps record glimpses of the original appearance and, subsequently, the sad decline of the two brilliant structures, (each a pair of houses), on the two eastern corners. [Red X = site of current proposed development] [Blue X = corner developed by Zoe, in the 90s]

      The New Row corner with Blackpits is now going forward for redevelopment (site notice posted last week) after being in a development hiatus since the pair of houses, known locally as the ‘7 Gables’, was substantially demolished in 1903.

      I will post up below some of the sequence of photographs that illustrates these two eastern corners together with a drawing of what I believe was the original appearance of the ‘7 Gables’ corner.

      This vista up New Row towards St. Patricks Cathedral, records a terrace of ‘Billys’ and the corner with Ward’s Hill, on the left. On the right is a former distillery building, known as ‘the Laundry building’ in the 20th century, and a Protected Structure, which it is proposed to refurbish and convert to office use. In the right foreground is what then remained of ‘7 Gables’ with original 18 pane flush sash windows still evident on the first floor.

      This older photograph shows the same Ward’s Hill corner on the left, but this time with the elegant curvininear gables still intact, if only just. The New Row facade is four bay and is capped by a Siamese twin gable arrangement reflecting the fact that the tappered site has been resolved by the ingeneous device of splicing the primary roof structure into two, with the junction probable covered by a central common chimney stack.


      The little axonometric drawing of the Ward’s Hill corner, I did a long time ago and I think I need to review some aspects of it.

      The least that we should look for, if this development is to be granted planning permission, is a thorough archaeological investigation of the corner site to record and recover the exact original floor plans of the houses and any other information that a dig might reveal. We know so little about these ‘Dutch Billy’ houses and especially the complex corner houses, that it would be unforgivable if this corner was to follow the Zoe corner under concrete without every last original detail being recorded and published.

    • #799271
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      [ATTACH]7588[/ATTACH]
      Not sure but i think this is one?

    • #799272
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Paul: That group on Amien Street and a Dutch gabled house around the corner on Talbot Street appear to be examples of a late19th century revival of interest in the gabled house. The trend seems to have been across the board in Victorian cities, but the Talbot Street example (posted last year by Devin on the Talbot St. thread) looks much more connected to the characteristic Dublin ‘Dutch Billy’ that was, about then, vanishing everywhere from the building record.

      The Talbot Street house was probably designed by some, out of touch, third rate, architect with an unhealthy interest in out of date building types.

      Ha!, how sad is that?

      oh fuck

    • #799273
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter: did the ‘oh fuck’ just creep in there? You realise I want to eat your heart out for doing drawings like that!

    • #799274
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The old axo drawing of the Ward’s Hill / New Row South corner was an attempt to get to grips with the twin, gable ended, roof plan on a tappered site, but I know it still isn’t right because we don’t have enough information on the floor plans of the two houses. Rocque’s map shows the corner house as the bigger of the pair with a tiny corner yard to the rear of a tiny house taking up the right-hand half of the New Row frontage, but that is an inprobable arrangement and it doesn’t accord with the division line on the early Ordnance Survey maps, which show the right hand house as the bigger of the two, wrapping around the the rear of the corner unit!. There is also the possibility that, unlike the ‘Seven Gables’ corner opposite, which was always a pair of houses, the Ward’s Hill corner may have started out as a single large house and was subsequently divided into two.

      This is where recovery of the foundation plan, in a detailed archaeological investigation, is critical.

      The planning application (Reg. no. 3072/08) for the ‘Seven Gables’ site was declared invalid, so the clock hasn’t started ticking on that one yet. The ‘Seven Gables’ corner encapsulates so much that is inventive and characteristic in the Dublin ‘Dutch Billy’ tradition, that It really should be investigated thoroughly first, including archaeological trial holes, before any decision to permit the redevelopment of the site is granted.

      Here are a few more pics of the site today and of the ‘Seven Gables’ before demolition. The 19th century view from Mill Street with the ‘Seven Gables’ just visible in the distance on the right is wrongly labelled ‘Marrowbone Lane with William Jameson’s Distillery’ from Freddie O’Dwyer’s Lost Dublin.



    • #799275
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hard to believe that an area with so much character has become so banal; let’s hope that at least the founds can be identified and recorded before the inevitable.
      Incidentally, I have been aware of the newbuilds on the left in the middle illustration since construction; it’s what I would call ‘decent’ domestic architecture – not great, not ‘progressive’, but which sits very comfortably into its site and provides a good living environment in the city.

    • #799276
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There’s a particularly beautiful pub around the corner from Marrowbone Lane – not sure of the name of the street, but if you kind of swing left then right into Thomas Street you come on this pub on a corner with a most beautiful curved aspect.

      I wonder would the Tenters be a likely place for the Dutch Billys to be, seeing as the Huguenots and their ilk hung out there?

      Perhaps my view of them is inaccurate, but they seem to me like the housing of sturdy upper-working-class people, shopkeepers, artisans and the like?

    • #799277
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Speaking of pubs in the Liberties, DCC recently granted permission for demolition of the Ardee House pub, which closes the view west on Newmarket (see bottom picture). It’s been appealed by An Taisce – http://www.pleanala.ie/casenum/229648.htm. How is the area supposed to maintain what’s left of its character and sense of historic layering if we go demolishing the remaining older buildings?

      @gunter wrote:


      Existing view looking west on Newmarket towards Chamber Street. The stone warehouses on the right form the west corner of Brabazon Place, opposite Gray’s on the east corner. The warehouses are derelict and look to be prep’d for re-development. They are 19th century replacements of the original gabled houses, but they are part of the story of the space and should be retained and worked into the redevelopment rather than bulldozed and forgotten.

    • #799278
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Devin: I saw that there was a previous application for the demolition of this corner pub which, I thought, had been refused. It’s hard to believe that DCC would grant permission for this. This building is an example of a perfectly decent corner structure in good condition and of a scale that reflects the original scale of the streetscape.

      The last remaining former gabled house on Chamber Street virtually adjoins this pub and is currently in a perilous condition, having been vacant and on the market for about a year now. If the corner gets demolished and redeveloped, the context in which you could make a reasonable case for the retention and restoration of the gabled house will disappear.


      Detail of the ground floor showing the lovely shop window and the decay in the timber beam above it.

    • #799279
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yep – one of the most extraordinary buildings in Dublin to happen upon at the moment. Well worth a look on curiosity grounds alone. The layers of peeling paint on the shopfront are extraordinary – rarely will you come across such an intact example of a generational fruitless exercise in maintenance. It’s like cardboard in parts it’s that thick. The Victorian arched window is a real delight, while the first floors’ shout alteration of an early structure.

      Suffice to say this building is also not protected. The decision on the pub was a real shame – leading the charge for more of the same blandness from Cork Street. Ironically it’s also one of the fre buildings in this area – new or old – that’s actually in good condition.

    • #799280
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yeah its scale is appropriate to its location. It’s not suitable for a Coombe Bypass-style apartment block, which is what they want to replace it with.

    • #799281
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Yeah its scale is appropriate to its location. It’s not suitable for a Coombe Bypass-style apartment block, which is what they want to replace it with.

      This is the dilemma that the planning system is struggling with at the moment.

      We know that Dublin is failing the density test and has been since the process of slum clearance, to solve a different problem, created the sprawling, traffic choked, city we have now. Everyone is agreed that densification is the solution, but that prescription is being interpreted by developers as a licence to replace the existing street scale with a much higher street scale and, in the absence of a clear directive from the planning authorities, they’re doing it the only way they know how, which is randomly, piecemeal, opportunistically using corner sites as bridgeheads.

      We must have seen fifty examples in the last six months. Here’s the one for the corner site on New Row South / Blackpitts that was previously the location of the famous ‘Dutch Billy’ pair known locally as the ‘Seven Gables’ (posted earlier)

      The proposal is for a ten storey composite curved apartment block, justified presumably on the basis that it is a ‘corner site’ and it delivers ‘densification’ and the developers had to work around retaining a ‘Protected Structure’ elsewhere on the site.

      My view on this, as expressed on other threads, is that this is an established streetscape, now approximately 300years old, that has fallen on hard times and what is required here is urban mending, not the introduction of a mega-block that ignores the established scale of the streetscape. There is an argument for height on the site, as there is for a vista capturing element given the potential for exploiting the view down Ward’s Hill from Newmarket, but these elements, to be justifiable, have to respect the scale of the streetscape first and foremost.

      It the easy way out to say that the Zoe apartments opposite are low quality shoe boxes that have little design merit and they shouldn’t enter any discussion on the shape and form of the redevelopment on the current site, but, as johnglas has pointed out, these buildings and the ‘Tenters Pub’ on the Mill St. corner are the streetscape reference point and they effectively reproduce the scale, if not the astonishing heritage and detail of the original gabled houses from the period when these streets were first laid out.

      Repairing streetscapes and delivering densification are not mutually exclusive objectives, but I think that we need to develop design and planning approaches that are much more sensitive and imaginative, if we’re not to loose what little character we have left and replace it with little more than the gap toothed, imbalanced, cityscape that we would have had anyway, if there was no planning control system in place at all and redevelopment was happening, restricted only by the means available to the owner and the fashion of the day.

    • #799282
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Couldn’t agree more. Which is why I was more than a little surprised to find out yesterday that De Blacam and Meagher have just lodged an application for a seven storey block right next door to St. Catherine’s Church on Thomas Court.

      Proposed setbacks could however mitigate much of the impact.

    • #799283
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I blame the development plan…

      you need style/material overlays and height overlays

      and photographic vision…

    • #799284
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      St. Catherine’s Bakery, there was a real throwback, tiny shop, creaky floor, turnovers 3 for £1.


      this would be a view of the rear of the site with the tower of St. Catherine’s rising up on the far side of Thomas’s Court.

      Must get a closer look at the building. No matter how prestigous the architects, I just dont trust the building record reports that are being submitted with planning applications at the moment.

      The Frawleys development Building Record Report states that ’34 -35 is a 3 bay symmetrical facade in a muted, vaguely Art Deco style’ and it reports of no. 36, (Fade’s early 18th century mansion) ‘The building is Victorian in character’! and that the rear elevation ‘ . . has blocked up windows in various styles’! No. 32, which I would put my mortgage on being a rare twin ‘Dutch Billy’, is just an early Georgian with a double hipped roof apparently.

      The one interesting thing from the Frawley’s application was an archaeological report from Claire Walsh which included a trial trench as well as a desk top survey. Nothing outstanding turned up but the extent of the monastery is clear and they are at least trying to find it.


      An extract from the archaeological report with the monastery that GP was asking about overlaid on Rocque.

    • #799285
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The sketch of the rear of the Marrowbone Lane building reminds me of the rear of a building on Aungier Street. I don’t live in Ireland so I can’t go and check the details but the back of this building was visible when the new hostel was being built on Little Longford Street. If you are on Little Longford Street, going west, you need to turn right on to Aungier Street and it is the second building on the right. The maps. live.com page shows scaffolding a year or so ago. Worth looking up?

    • #799286
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This isn’t really the right thread for this, but the point I want to make relates to the site of the ‘Seven Gables’ which we’ve been dealing with a couple of posts back on this thread.

      This is one of the promotional images for the ‘Millcourt’ development that looms up behind the retained ‘Tenters’ pub at the corner of Mill Street and Blackpitts.

      The development was granted planning permission last year and you can see why, the image is very compelling.

      The view down New Row South uses, to the maximum, the framework of the stone ‘Laundry building’ (former distillery and Protected Structure) on the left and the similarly scaled, red brick, Zoe apartment development, on the right, to set off the sharp looking, blue tinted contrasting contemporary vertical vista closer in the distance. The colour scheme is an advertising executive’s dream, even the double yellow lines look like ‘go faster stripes’ into the future.

      But this is still haphazzard planning, it’s still represents a random jump in the scale of the streetscape that can’t be readily followed without knocking everything else down and starting again. The Mill Street view is much less compelling. The developers weren’t going to waste any subtlety down a back street like this and loose valuable floor area breaking up the scale.


      Mill Street looking north towards the Millcourt development. Looking north up New Row from Mill Street.

      The new proposal for the ‘Seven Gables’ site follows directly from the ‘Millcourt’ decision. Naturally it’s one storey higher at 10 storeys just to squeeze the last ounce out of it, but even at nine storeys it would have been more than twice the height of the original streetscape and any gestures towards subtlety have been dispensed with now that the precedent has been set.

      It’s hard to believe that streets that started off with such cutting edge urban intentions in the late 17thy century and which were fully developed by the early 18th century, through the vagaries of the shifting sands of fashion and a long decline into tenement squalor, are now on the point of ending up with a disconnected mixture of decent, but suburban scaled, two storey terraces and brash over-scaled multi-storey apartment blocks.

      If this process of development without apparent guidance is allowed to proceed unchecked, in a few years time, the only scale of development which won’t be represented on these streets (except by the much maligned Zoe schemes of the 1990s) will be the (average) four storey scale that is the one that is patently the most appropriate to the existing street widths and urban patterns and also, the most responsive to a respect for the heritage of this area of the Liberties.

      The Liberties is one of the few areas of Dublin where people still believe in the concept of Heritage, as something real, something to stay connected to. The last thing you want in the Liberties is a random scattering of over-scaled apartment blocks that could have been designed for any site in Dublin from the airport to Sandyford.

    • #799287
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This is a stab at a mock up of the original appearance of 41 Stephen’s Green, which is one of the five remaining former twin ‘Dutch Billys’ that I’ve been able to identify. and the corresponding existing view showing the present Victorian dormers. The two houses to the right are standard ‘Dutch Billys’ altered in Georgian times to conform to the flat parapet fashion of the day.


      existing


      a reconstruction of the facade as I believe it to have appeared.


      The rear of no. 41 showing the twin gables and original return (on the right) and the rear of no. 43 showing a standard ‘Billy’ in mint condition.


      Some interior shots of no. 41 showing the panelling and the fine staircase which, like the Bachelor’s walk example, was located at the front of the house (up to first floor level)

    • #799288
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I was just having a quick root around the Treasury Holdings website and it appears that TH own half the ‘Dutch Billys’ in Dublin!

      I’m not sure if I mentioned earlier, but I have the highest regard for Treasury Holdings and I always think of them as splendid people who consistantly have the best interests of this city at heart. Anything that they might wish to do down the docks is entirely their own business and fine by me.

    • #799289
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      I’m not sure if I mentioned earlier, but I have the highest regard for Treasury Holdings and I always think of them as splendid people who consistantly have the best interests of this city at heart.

      LOL 😀

      Come on Gunter, it’s July 17th not April 1st… Some of the more novice readers of this site may think that you’re actually being serious! :p

    • #799290
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Can anyone tell me anything about these?; they are in Castle Lane in Limerick, right beside the Castle funnily enough.

      [ATTACH]7772[/ATTACH]

      I’m ignorant about dutch billys so these could be recreations for all I know but the brick looks very fine for that.

    • #799291
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ake wrote:

      Can anyone tell me anything about these?; they are in Castle Lane in Limerick, right beside the Castle funnily enough.

      [ATTACH]7772[/ATTACH]

      I’m ignorant about dutch billys so these could be recreations for all I know but the brick looks very fine for that.

      After Dublin, I gather Limerick was ‘Billy’ central. I’m not aware of any studies or publications on Dutch Billys in Limerick, just the odd glimpse in old photographs, same as Dublin.

      I think the pair you’ve shown beside the castle were just built about ten years ago as some kind of olde worlde backdrop to a pub, I don’t think they’re supposed to be reconstructions of actual houses on that site, just worthy enough echos of a lost building type. Somebody down there will know, but they probably keep that kind of information to themselves.

      Back in Dublin, here’s a great old grainy photograph of a solitary ‘Billy’ in Pimlico, (kindly supplied by the man). It’s just a modest three storey house, but what beautiful proportions and what a urban presence for such a small house.

    • #799292
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Here’s a little more info on the Parnell Street Billys.


      The facade to Parnell St. with the roof layout that can only have been faced by the rare ‘three gables shared by two houses’ arrangement and the massive central chimney stack.


      The stairs of no. 157 (righ hand house) showing quite light bannisters, but a nice heavy low hand rail with characteristic early sweeping curve up to the knewel post.


      The pair as they appeared in Shaw’s directory of 1850 with a half round? window in the attic storey of 158, not unlike the Camden Street house.


      The pair as shown on Rocque’s map, 1756. The returns are shown each on the right hand side, but in reality they are paired in the centre.

    • #799293
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Oooh – intriguing as always gunter 🙂

      I must admit to the shame of passing these about twice a week and never having checked them out properly other than acknowledging they were ‘suspicious’, as with much of this terrace. The permanent rank of buses outside eases the conscience somewhat.

      Both the location of the houses and particularly the sneaky staircase shot (always helpful) dates this pair as amongst the last gabled houses to be built in the city – the staircase in particular scraping them into the 1740s. The triple gable is most interesting – here’s the roof form today.

      The paired returns to the centre as you say gunter are clearly evident.

      Brooking shows the terrace as being entirely developed in 1728, but he’s not exactly renowned as Mr Accurate.

      We also see yet another example of a gabled house being replaced by a tall early Victorian, to the right at No. 156.

      More than likely what happened with No. 19 on Thomas Street too.

      @gunter wrote:

      The fact that both of the Parnell Street houses were refaced at the same time in the 19th century suggests they remained in single ownership ever since they were built, probably in the typical part-speculative fashion of the builder living in one and leasing the other. And while most pairs of Billies were built as an entity, these pointers still help to reinforce the llklihood that these were triple gabled – built as a grand architectural unit.

      They are protected structures.

    • #799294
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I didn’t realize they were PSs, that’s a step in the right direction.

      Shaw’s Directory is a fund of information. Quite a lot of the Billys on Henry Street made it into the 1850s almost unaltered and even more survived with just a simple flat parapet masking.


      This is the south side of Henry street where the main block of Arnott’s is now (on top and the opposing streetscape upside down below)


      The west end of Henry Street with no. 1 (upside down) being the corner with Liffey Street. Arnott’s starts at no. 7. The caption on the street beside no. 62 say ‘Denmark Street’, but it can only be the upper end of Liffey Street where the Ilac Centre / corner of Roche’s is now.

      It reinforces the view that pretty much everything shown on Rocque’s Map, with the exception of the Gardiner developments on Henrietta Street, Sackville Mall, Cavendish Street and bits of Malborough Street, consisted of terraces of Dutch Billys with some vernacular structures on the outskirts and a few terraces of triangular gabled houses in the older parts of the centre and in the weaving areas of the Liberties.

    • #799295
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ake wrote:

      Can anyone tell me anything about these?; they are in Castle Lane in Limerick, right beside the Castle funnily enough.

      Castle Lane

      Some critics saw it so . . . . .

      Castle Lane received what is probably the single most dubious “heritage” development in the entire country, the £3.8 million EU and Shannon Development Castle Lane beside King Johns Castle.

      This includes the “reconstruction” of a 19th. century warehouse of the very type still being demolished in the Milk Market area. It is a Disneyesque piece of historical conceit basically designed as a large tour bus stop pub, while the real heritage of the city suffers progressively accelerating mutilation.

      Others i.e. the traditionalists detested the modern castle “Visitors Centre” next door and called it “the thing”. They appear to have no problems with the castle lane theme extension.

      Irrespective what Shannon Development / City Council did here (modern or olde worlde) it would have been wrong anyway. Sad reality was the area was in dire need of regeneration with very little of Medieval Limerick left let alone to compliment the castle itself. So they cheated a bit here to re-invent itself!

    • #799296
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      After Dublin, I gather Limerick was ‘Billy’ central. I’m not aware of any studies or publications on Dutch Billys in Limerick, just the odd glimpse in old photographs, same as Dublin.

      I think the pair you’ve shown beside the castle were just built about ten years ago as some kind of olde worlde backdrop to a pub, I don’t think they’re supposed to be reconstructions of actual houses on that site, just worthy enough echos of a lost building type. Somebody down there will know, but they probably keep that kind of information to themselves.

      Jim Kemmy / Larry Walsh wrote the following in a book called “old Limerick in Postcards”.

      After the 1651 Siege of Limerick, all the Catholic merchants were banished, and their places taken by English and Dutch merchants. The Earl of Orrery, governor of the city, brought over dozens of Dutch families, who prospered, particularly in the woollen industry.

      The best known of the Dutch families were the Verekers, Vandeleurs, Yorkes, Foxons and D’Esterres, who rose to prominence in local politics. They also influenced the city’s architecture. Tall Dutch-gabled houses were built in many parts of Limerick in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

      In Broad Street, the houses had steeply pitched gables, while those in the Meat Market and Castle Street and John’s Square had rounded, pointed or pedimented gables. Only two of these gables have survived and can be seen at the rear of the John’s Square houses, beside Brennan’s Row.

      With the increasing availability of brick, most of these houses were built with the products of local brickworks, but many retained stone trimmings. They fell into decay when the merchant owners moved out of the Englishtown and Irishtown in the nineteenth century and the new landlords failed to maintain them. The houses became tenements and most were demolished in the 1930’s.

      Here a few examples of Dutch-gabled houses from Limerick Museum online.

      Building alongside Exchange, rear of St. Mary’s Cathedral (illustration above and first picture below) The second one below is from Mary Street and the last one Castle Street?

    • #799297
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Outstanding stuff CologneMike.

      That five storey beside the exchange is astonishing, and totally Dutch in the proportions of solid to void on the first floor (second and third floors altered to 3 windows?).

      (There is a serious warning here not to trust prints, if that Exchange print is supposed to represent the same house)

      Direct Dutch immigration into the Limerick civic elite would help explain the degree to which the city went ‘Dutch Billy’ mad at a time when Cork City appeared to stay more provincial English. (that’s goin’ to annoy them down there).

      *must add Cork to my list of insultees*

    • #799298
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      The caption on the street beside no. 62 say ‘Denmark Street’, but it can only be the upper end of Liffey Street where the Ilac Centre / corner of Roche’s is now.

      I believe Little Denmark Street ran from there to Parnell Street.

    • #799299
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @newgrange wrote:

      I believe Little Denmark Street ran from there to Parnell Street.

      Indeed. Now incorporated into the ILAC.

      Discussed previously here.

    • #799300
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Fantastic gabled houses in Limerick, CologneMike. That five storey is incredible. Very ‘pure’ influence there. A high grade import from the Netherlands of a different kind…

      Just passing the Parnell Street Billies this evening, I just knew given their dishevelled state that they’d have to retain their original corner chimney breasts in the shops. And just like clockwork :):

      Back to back.

      Wonderful stuff. Billies are so predictable: where they do survive they nearly always follow a common pattern of being a black sheep for nearly all of their life – always the budget conversion, never the bride. Hence the common survial of the basic structure, with basic cosmetic changes.

      What I love about the first shop above is you can sense as clear as anything the smallness and intimacy of the original living room when you stand in the shop. It’s got a lovely domestic scale – you can just imagine a roaring corner fire, cosy timber panelling, a heavy timber cornice, and creaky floorboards beneath you feet. Love to get exploring in there.

      It’s very interesting gunter that you should highlight the proliferation of Billies formerly on Henry Street prior to eradication in 1916. I’ve often wondered the reasoning for the popularity of Billy Revival along the southern side of the street in the late 1910s – it didn’t feature anywhere else in the extensive post-1916 reconstructions.

      (there are better examples than this)

      There seems little doubt that a clear reference was being drawn from past forms by Dublin architects as far back as the early 20th century. Pity we’ve become so unimaginative in the ensuing 90 years.

    • #799301
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Wonderful stuff. Billies are so predictable: where they do survive they nearly always follow a common pattern of being a black sheep for nearly all of their life – always the budget conversion, never the bride. Hence the common survial of the basic structure, with basic cosmetic changes.

      Except- couldn’t it be the case that the more lavish conversions are no longer detectable from visual evidence? i.e. just because all we see today are the budget ones doesn’t mean they’re all that survived.

    • #799302
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Absolutely. Only in those elaborate cases the corner fireplaces, pokey returns, panelled stud hall walls and other more structural elements would be definition be knocked out for reasons of fashion. But good point, presumably there’s many Georgians around that retain the side and back walls of Billies…

    • #799303
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Trying to track the pattern of alterations can be very difficult. In a lot of cases there was simply the removal of the front curvilinear gable and pediment and it’s replacement by a flat parapet. In other cases the whole pitch of the roof was altered in what seems like over-kill, but which may have been renovation ‘best practice’ at the time. Depending on how thoroughly the roof alterations were carried out, it can be difficult to decide whether we’re dealing with an altered Billy, or instead, a transitional Georgian that just retains some lingering characterists of the earlier Billy building tradition.

      5 & 6 Benburb Street would be a case in point. On one level they look like unremarkable later 18th, or even early 19th century houses, but on another level, if the roof pitch was steeper (and ideally cruciform), this pair would be obvious Dutch Billys.


      No. 6 Benburb St.


      No. 5


      Rear of 5 & 6 (obviously built as a pair) seen through gates on Hendrick Street.

      The deep red brick of no. 6 is another clue, and the feature which may have tipped the balance with DCC to give this one Protected Structure status. The rear elevation and return arrangement, assuming the roof pitch has been lowered, is classic Dutch Billy, as is the central shared chimney stack.

      Hopefully the interior of these houses preserves some intact early features to settle the matter.

      The interesting thing is that these two house appear today, on plan, exactly how they appear on Rocque’s map (1756) and if we go further back to Brooking’s map, these streets are shown fully developed in 1728. Taking the map evidence together with the external visual evidence, it would be hard to argue that these two aren’t a nice pair of, slightly altered, 280 year old Dutch Billys waiting for a bit of TLC.


      Rocque with 5 & 6 Benburb Street (Gravel Walk) outlined in red. (Sorry copy of Brooking is not postable quality)

    • #799304
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Direct Dutch immigration into the Limerick civic elite would help explain the degree to which the city went ‘Dutch Billy’ mad at a time when Cork City appeared to stay more provincial English.

      Judith Hill writes in her book “The Building of Limerick” how much the gabled houses owe to the Dutch inhabitants of Limerick is debatable.

      The Pacata map of 1633 showed gables fronting Broad Street in Irish Town. If this was an established tradition it was continued when the Dutch gabled houses were built in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century.

      I summarise here as to what she basically wrote in that after the 1691 treaty, the city’s housing stock was severally damaged.

      The new Dutch immigrants built their houses using lighter materials, rectangular windows which improved lighting etc, etc thus giving them a fashionable appearance.

      It seems reasonable that the existing inhabitants might have found this new style to be an improvement and adopt it for themselves. That much of the existing housing stock had roof ridges at right angles to the street so that each house presented a separate gable at the front. Such buildings could be easily ‘converted’ into Dutch houses i.e. old stoned houses received a new façade with a red brick skin, with large vertical windows.

      I was unsure of the street location of this picture. It was not Castle Street but in fact take at Meat Market Lane, off Sheep St.

      The Limerick Museum reveals a print with Dutch Gables on Castle Street. See below.

      Print, lithograph, b/w framed. “King John’s Castle/ Limerick/ Dublin Published by S. Brocas, 15 Henry St., Jan 7 1826″, at centre bottom, at left “Drawn on Stone by S. Brocas” at right “Printed by M.H. & J.W. Allen, 32 Dame St.,” View from on Thomond Bridge looking towards Nicholas Street, with a carriage drawn by four horses, with 4 men on top, about to enter onto the bridge; at left tall Dutch gabled buildings line the street, at right lower seemingly semi-derelict buildings in front of castle; at right the two towers of the castle gatehouse are in ruinous state, and the N.W. tower is cut at edge of frame.

    • #799305
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ake wrote:

      Can anyone tell me anything about these?; they are in Castle Lane in Limerick, right beside the Castle funnily enough.

      I’m ignorant about dutch billys so these could be recreations for all I know but the brick looks very fine for that.

      Article on that from the time:

      Historical pastiche a dubious tribute to Limerick’s heritage

      Shannon Development rolled out the red carpet last weekend for the official opening of its latest flagship project, a £3.8 million tourism development involving the construction of a street beside King John’s Castle and the refurbishment of its visitor centre.

      Castle Lane contains “a blend of several different examples of Limerick’s architectural heritage” – a mid-18th century granary, two early 18th century “Dutch Billy” gabled houses, a more humble urban labourer’s cottage and a stone-fronted merchant’s house with a 17th century appearance.

      All beautifully built by Michael McNamara and Company, the complex is the end-product of market research commissioned by Shannon Development which identified the need for a “magnet tourism project” for Limerick that might transform it into an “international tourist destination”.

      The State’s only regional development company had a problem. The grey metal-clad visitor centre at the castle, built in 1990, had never won public approval; Cllr John Gilligan, an independent member of Limerick Corporation, once invited “the entire populace” to throw stones at the offending structure.

      Browbeaten by this continuing controversy, Shannon Development turned away from contemporary architecture towards quasihistorical pastiche when it came to building Castle Lane – despite strenuous objections from the Heritage Council, which felt such a solution would lack authenticity.

      The National Monuments Service opposes the scheme because it meant building in the early 13th century castle moat, parallel to its southern wall. This involved abandoning earlier plans to line Castle Lane with “medieval” buildings, forcing Shannon Development to pick a later period for its project.

      Murray O’Laoire, the award-winning architects’ firm which designed the castle’s visitor centre, believed a contemporary building would be the most appropriate solution. But its advice was rejected, although it was persuaded to stay on, at least, as project managers, leaving the design work for others.

      Mr Hugh Murray, who heads the firm’s Limerick office, said last weekend he was unhappy about a Shannon Development press release listing Murray O’Laoire as the architects. “I’ve always said that, no matter what happens, I’ll be defending the visitor centre but I won’t be defending [Castle Lane].”

      To counter public loathing of the visitor centre, Event Ireland – which specialises in heritage projects – was commissioned to improve its appearance by fixing a series of full-height heraldic banners on both sides of the structure. These give the building a lift, making it look more festive.

      The visitor centre forecourt has also been re-ordered, with the moat and bridge removed and steel handrails replaced by timber. Inside, the “complete refurbishment” includes covering up the main windows to provide space for wax dummies in full regalia of James II, William III and others involved in the Siege of Limerick.

      As for the buildings on Castle Lane, the “mid-18th century” granary at the corner of Nicholas Street will be the new home of Limerick City Museum; it is relocating there from a real Georgian house on John’s Square. The remaining buildings constitute a very large “themed pub”.

      The pair of Dutch Billys, nicely tuck-pointed and “authentic” in every detail, house the kitchen and toilets of the new Castle Lane Tavern; one entrance is a fire exit from the pub. And the humble labourer’s house next door is also part of this “re-created early 18th century tavern”.

      Executed by McNally Design, responsible for numerous Irish “themed pubs” abroad, it has beams decorated with old carpenter’s tools to evoke a workshop while upstairs visitors are seated at trestle tables in a room with painted trompe l’oeil blockwork on the walls and even the ceiling.

      At both levels, the “labourer’s cottage” opens out into the “17th century merchant’s house”, which contains a “gentry bar” with a stone-built fireplace on the ground-floor and an even larger one upstairs, where the high ceiling, supported by king-post trusses, is decorated in mid-19th century Gothic Revival style, after Pugin.

      The piece de resistance is an oriel window in the corner, which offers a panoramic view over the River Shannon; otherwise, because the windows are relatively small and there are few of them, the building fails to capitalise on its location – though Castle Lane does link Nicholas Street with the riverside walk.

      “In essence, from an architectural viewpoint, the buildings which make up Castle Lane represent different examples of Limerick’s built heritage of which some [notably the Dutch gables] are now largely lost to us,” says Shannon Development. “They represent a tribute to an architectural legacy which is being increasingly destroyed.”

      This is part of the problem. While the new quasi-historical complex was clad in brick and stone salvaged from buildings demolished in Limerick, it is clear the city is failing to look after its real architectural heritage; a plethora of PVC windows deface the Crescent, centrepiece of Georgian Limerick.

      Shannon Development is on firmer ground with its latest project at Bunratty Folk Park. This involved re-erecting a redundant Regency Gothic Church of Ireland parish church from Ardcroney, near Borrisokane, Co Tipperary. There are even plans to plant yew trees to make it look as if it has always been there.

      Bunratty Folk Park also contains several invented buildings, and there is nothing wrong with that because they stand within a corral. But was it right to build quasi-historical buildings at Castle Lane in the heart of Limerick?

      Frank McDonald

      © The Irish Times, May 22, 1998

      http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/1998/0522/98052200005.html

    • #799306
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Found this today.
      Browne Street off Weaver Square.
      No date, sorry.

    • #799307
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @newgrange wrote:

      Found this today.
      Browne Street off Weaver Square.
      No date, sorry.

      newgrange: that solves a puzzle that’s been bothering me for ages. The house I posted earlier in the thread that’s always been published as Pimlico, is actually your Billy on Brown Street. This explains why I could never get a location on Pimlico to exactly match.

      CologneMike: Those three Billys you say were on Meat Market Lane in Limerick are astonishing. Dutch Billys that weren’t faced in red brick are almost unknown, but these three houses appear to have been constructed in rubble stone, with just some brick in the window surrounds.

      There was a great house in Kilmainham, known locally as ‘Shakespeare House’, that has been speculated to have been gable fronted, due to the top floor window arrangement, and we know it was built by a Dublin lawyer around 1725 putting it right in the middle of the Dutch Billy boom, but the problem is that it was built entirely in stone. It always seemed to be a bit fancyful to speculate that Shakespeare House (real name; Riversdale House) had a tripple gabled facade and even more so to suggest that the gables were curvilinear and pedimented, but your photograph of the Limerick houses puts a different complexion on this.

      That there may have been a vernacular baroque wing of the Dutch Billy movement adds another chapter to the story.


      A few remnants of Riversdale House (no. 40 Old Kilmainham) survive, but the bulk of the house was pulled down about 1965. The statue over the front door was of Shakespeare, but that’s too long a story to get into tonight.

    • #799308
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The 4-storey house on the left foreground of Newgrange’s pic is still standing, isn’t it?

      Just a general point on this thread: While we are calling these gable-fronted houses of Dublin “Dutch Billys”, probably most of them date to after King Billy’s reign (1689-1702). Probably many of them seen in old photographs aren’t any older than about 1730.

      And of course anything after 1715 is technically “Georgian”.

    • #799309
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      ‘Dutch Billy’ isn’t a technical term Devin, it’s a nickname, but it seems to be an authentic nickname from the period in question.

      The Brown Street house, or houses?, opposite the ‘gable fronted house’ (you see this is why we call them Billys) in newgrange’s picture is still there. The right hand half has a number of ‘Billy’ characteristics, but I don’t think it’s shown on Rocque, which puts it well into your Georgian period.

      We did talk about this ages ago, I’m going to have to check your homework.

    • #799310
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yes I know “Dutch Billy” is is a generic term, just not a very accurate one.

      I recall searching for the Brown Street house on old maps and finding it didn’t appear any earlier than the middle 19th century.

    • #799311
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Yes I know “Dutch Billy” is is a generic term, just not a very accurate one.

      I recall searching for the Brown Street house on old maps and finding it didn’t appear any earlier than the middle 19th century.

      Trying to get architectural movements to fit the actual life span of individual English monarchs was never going to be easy ;).

      The Brown Street house is an oddity. It had a classic 1760s -80s pillared & pedimented door case (in newgrange’s pic) but, as you say the 1797 map just shows gardens here, when the houses on the other side of the street are clearly shown.

      Personally I’d be inclined to doubt the accuracy of the map in this case. Between Rocque and the first Ordnance Survey in 1838, the maps are not great on detail and the focus was all on the Georgian expansion and the big infra-structural projects, like the Quays, the canals and the Circular Roads, individual houses in secondary locations may just not have registered with them.

      Must go back down to Brown St. and see if there’s any remains of the ‘Pimlico’ house, I don’t think that site has been redeveloped.

    • #799312
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      looked up (what I believe) the approximate location of the house on Browne steet on Microsoft Maps and it looks like there is nothing but a modern wall left on the site

    • #799313
      Anonymous
      Inactive
    • #799314
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Apartment block so.

      I don’t suppose they recovered the house plan from the foundation layout!

    • #799315
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      No, it’s there. At the corner of Brown St & Brickfield Lane. Can yis not see it? It hasn’t been demolished.

      Re ‘Dutch Billys’. gunter I can tell you suffer from last-word-itus so I’m not saying anything else 🙂

    • #799316
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s the Billy that’s gone- other side of the road from the extant mystery house.

    • #799317
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Ok. Well it’d be something to find that still there !

    • #799318
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      gunter I can tell you suffer from last-word-itus so I’m not saying anything else 🙂

      or else what?

    • #799319
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Just off Brown Street is Weaver Square. Now a desolate space to the south side of Cork Street, its form was obliterated by slum clearance and 1960s social housing.

      1880s

      Today

      The Billies were probably of c. 1700 date, while the Victorians were pretty much brand new.

      Here’s the terrace just a few years later. Two of the already-delapidated Billys were by then truncated. It looks like one collapsed and both were subsequently ‘made good’.

      Interestingly for the 19th century Liberties, it appears even these buildings were considered out of bounds for the most wretched of potential tenants.

      Just another typical day. I wonder where these ladies were off to. What a beautiful lamp.

      I thought I’d (crudely) layer the modern-day scene from precisely the same position of the 1880s.

      It is an extraordinary sensation to stand right on the site of the houses, with the foundations probably still concealed beneath your feet. The crudeness of the urban form at this location – essentially a cleared site unresolved from the 1960s (or should that be resolved 1960s style) – makes the former presence of these houses all the more vivid. Some forms can even still be made out on the gable of the adjoining Victorian.

      The site of the houses is just poured concrete.

      The Victorians still standing are curiously grand and middle class given the dereliction formerly directly adjacent. These were by no means artisan housing.

      The central house owners are particularly deserving of credit for their beautiful maintenance.

      The flat complex that replaced the Billies is now vacant and awaits demolition. Plans are currently being drafted – surely any half-decent contextual development would acknowledge through design reference both the former significance and the dominant architectural idiom of this place and that of the adjacent Chamber Street which it principally fronts.

    • #799320
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Indeed here is that block.

      And an aerial view with the Billy sites partly outlined.

      Also, of some concern are works being carried out to the unprotected probable former gabled house beside the pub around the corner on the Chamber Street.

      The former timber beam has been taken out, the void plugged with breeze bloacks, and the beam chopped into pieces for the skip.

      A lot of hammering and banging was coming from the interior also.

    • #799321
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      That’s disturbing about the Chamber St. house Graham. No Bob the Builder should be allowed butcher the last original house on a three hundred year old street. This is a brick house, you can’t just bang in concrete lintels and concrete bricks.

      The beam was decayed, in part, but there are conservation experts to deal with this kind of thing.

      A postcard view down Chamber Street from Weavers Square, with Newmarket in the distance. I hadn’t realized that the Weavers Square block of flats was up for demolition. As you say, the opportunity to replace it with a sensitive scheme that respects the original urban intentions should not be missed this time.

    • #799322
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Absolutely. A great opportunity coupled with the other more attractive 60s blocks across the road.

      Any chance you could zoom in on the Chamber Street house there gunter. The dominance of three-bayers all the way down certainly explains the replacement pair of big plate Victorian windows at first floor level today.

    • #799323
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Any chance you could zoom in on the Chamber Street house there gunter.

      I’m not a machine, you know.

      No, I have zoomed in, but it’s just a brown blur. It’s the house with the white gable party wall in the distance at the far end of the derelict site.

      The 1935/6 O.S. map shows the street pretty much intact with only the corner house on Ormond Street (of the terrace of 14 houses in the postcard) not shaded, indicating that it had been demolished.

      I’ve outlined your house in red and shaded the Corporation terrace, that in-filled the derelict site, in orange.

      Since I had the map out, I put a blue line around that probable ‘twin Billy’ on Cork Street, the one with the ‘Whelan’ part of ‘Paddy Whelan’ sign. Every time I go down Cork Street, I half expect to see this one gone.


      The ‘Paddy’ house was probably also a gabled house ,but looks to be totally derelict. It must have had very low floor to ceiling heights and it may be the remains of a very early house, possibly of the semi-vernacular, triangular gabled, Marrowbone Lane type, of which there are few, if any, remnants left.

    • #799324
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Here’s a couple of other old photos – taken about 1905. The Weaver Sq one is from a postcard which stated the houses were for demolition.

      Weaver Square


      Poole Street

    • #799325
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      So sad. The sequence of streets and spaces of Brown Street / Weaver Square / Chamber Street / Newmarket / Ward’s Hill & related is enough to get any planner’s juices going. Talk about undervalued. Though DCC did put out a Use Strategy Discussion Paper for Newmarket a couple of years ago, suggesting, among other things, that it was a suitable space for events.

      And would be great to see Weaver Square restored to something of the jump-off-the-map clarity and definition it had in Rocque (below), with quality buildings. Already a bad, cheap redbrick & PVC building was built on the west side 5 or 10 years ago, which can be partly seen in some of GrahamH’s photos above.

      The fascia and cornice of the Chamber Street house (below) were taken off about 4 years ago. Presumably they noticed some movement in the front fa̤ade and decided to investigate the state of the bressumer beam Рand only got around to doing something (butchery) about it now.

      Hard to know what this house originally looked like (if gabled or not) as it seems to have a different appearance to the other gabled houses on the street in the old photos. But it’s clearly very old because you can see it and the single-bay one next door on Rocque, 1756 (above), also corresponding fairly much to the 1935 OS posted above. I was passing by the single-bay house one day and you could see an angled chimney breast in the front room.

    • #799326
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      So sad. The sequence of streets and spaces of Brown Street / Weaver Square / Chamber Street / Newmarket / Ward’s Hill & related is enough to get any planner’s juices going. Talk about undervalued.

      It’s depressing to think that had those streets survived another 70 odd years, the Liberties could be basking in UNESCO World Heritage Site status today!

      The fact that this area has not been intensively redeveloped, and the fact that it still preserves fragments of its original fabric that could be restored as representative examples of it’s unique building legacy, presents us with a huge opportunity to regenerate the area in ways that respect and do justice to the wonderful streetscapes that we’ve lost.

      If we put our minds to it and stopped throwing in generic apartment blocks with outsized corner tower features on every site that once had sublime examples of varied and ordered urbanism, we could yet turn the Liberties into something special again.

    • #799327
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Fascinating to see the old street patterns in such detail, and the almost domestic-Hanseatic feel of Weaver’s Square in particular.

      A few minor things that caught my eye in the images above:

      I know the gables are the thrust of this thread, but the house that really interests me on the east side of the square is the odd 3 1/2 bay one with the split pitch roof to the north of the Billies. Is it just (just!) a vernacular oddball? Is it even older? I sense a bit of history there… And it seems to have persisted until the 1930s map above too.

      Also, there’s an odd little feature or discrepancy on Rocque’s map- the east side of the square is the only street front on the whole map that is not a hard black line. A simple mistake, presumably?

      Finally, if they’re the same houses on Rocque and the OS 1930s map, how come the carriage arches have moved? Lazy mapping on Mr Rocque’s part?

    • #799328
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      By the way, despite its obvious urban design and historic significance as ‘weaver central’, and the existence of some decent late 19th century buildings on it, Weaver Square doesn’t have one scrap of conservation provision at present; it’s not a Conservation Area or a Residential Conservation Area, let alone an ACA, and it doesn’t have any Protected Structures, apart from a convent building on the adjoining Ormond Street. It presently has a mixture of three different zonings: residential, mixed services facilities and institutional & community use. Getting Conservation Area status for it in the next development plan would be a start.

      Some more weavers’ houses above on Ardee Street, or ‘Crooked Staff’ as it was in the 18th century, with the same view today. We really did a terrific job of eliminating every last one of these houses out of a whole network of streets of them in the area. There was probably some sniveling pen-pusher in the 1940s or ’50s who was personally seeing to it that every one of them was gotten down. How else can it be explained? They were over 200 years old at this point, so their antique value was not to be sniffed at, whereas a lot of Georgian was only 100-150 years old (maybe a bit like the difference between Georgian & Victorian now).

      You can see the Ardee House pub at the corner of Chamber Street in both pictures, subject of a current planning appeal. I do hope An Bord P don’t permit its demolition because, as well as being a decent corner pub, it represents the weavers’ houses. It was there when they were there; it is a ‘witness building’.

    • #799329
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      There was probably some sniveling pen-pusher in the 1940s or ’50s who was personally seeing to it that every one of them was gotten down. How else can it be explained? They were over 200 years old at this point, so their antique value was not to be sniffed at, whereas a lot of Georgian was only 100-150 years old (maybe a bit like the difference between Georgian & Victorian now).

      I think the fact that they had degenerated into some of the most appaling slums in Europe their demolition was welcomed by the masses (although the break up of communities wasn’t).

    • #799330
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      @Rory W wrote:

      I think the fact that they had degenerated into some of the most appaling slums in Europe their demolition was welcomed by the masses (although the break up of communities wasn’t).

      Exactly – old photography doesn’t always capture the squalor of these places (I have been in some seriously poor areas of Winnipeg, and when photographed, they don’t look as bad as they obviously are.). It could quite easily have been the aim of some progressive liberal type to get the areas cleared as opposed to “some sniveling pen-pusher”.

    • #799331
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Paul Clerkin wrote:

      Exactly – old photography doesn’t always capture the squalor of these places . . .
      It could quite easily have been the aim of some progressive liberal type to get the areas cleared as opposed to “some sniveling pen-pusher”.

      There was definitely some slum clearance as epidemic preventative measure and there was some slum clearance as an expression of civic responsibility, but there must also have been a hugh amount of casual destruction just for the want of any civic understanding of the urban heritage involved.

      The fact that these streets were repeatedly photographed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, suggests that there must have been an appreciation of their antiquity value at least, even if that appreciation may have mixed architectural curiosity with the quaintness of the squalor.

      I think Devin’s point is that, if these streets were significant enough to be photographed and even postcarded, they should have been significant enough to be protected from demolition, especially when, in most cases, nothing of any significance replaced them. How exactly did other cities hang onto their tumbledown gabled buildings? The civic authorities across Europe from Amsterdam to Danzig must have exercised some form of protective regime over their urban fabric, why were we so different?

      Whatever excuses we offer, it’s hard to deny that, In Dublin in the 20th century, destruction of old houses, became a kind of orgy. In previous generations, the alteration, or destruction of urban fabric, was almost always for the purpose of expounding a newer vision, eg the demolition of a swath of Abbey street was carried out for the purposes of extending Sackville Street to the Quays, or the destruction of the pair of grand new Georgian houses at the top of Sackville Mall was carried out to facilitate the construction of the Rotunda.

      That process of re-planning and renewal continued throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, but then a couple of decades into the 20th century, the elements of the process seemed to get forgotten. The connection between ‘destruction’ and ‘replacement vision’ was lost. Destruction seemed to become an end in itself and, freed from any connection to a replacement vision, it became viral as it accelerated.

      So little more than a hundred years after the production of that 1817 WSC map, (the one that specifically targeted areas of streetscape to be ‘improved’), we went from an aspiration to fix and complete the city, to a state where we had almost no appreciation of the city as an intricate artifact at all.

      Just with a view to keeping our terminology straight, strictly speaking these triangular gabled houses, whether of the vernacular Marrowbone Lane type, or the red brick Chamber Street type, are not ‘Dutch Billys’. In fact these houses, which were concentrated in areas of the Liberties, would have been the only real pre-Georgian stylistic opposition to the Dutch Billy, whose prerequisite characteristic would have been the curvilinear, or stepped gable.

    • #799332
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Not wishing to go on about this but one of the main things that the first free state government was applauded for (and subsequent FF govts) was the clearance of these slums. Yes they were historic, but they were also rat infested pits of squalor, riddled with TB and vermin with often 20 families sharing the one house and wc. Poorly maintained, they were demolished before they fell down. Pre WWI Dublin was notorious in Europe as having slums second only to Calcutta – how far we fell from being second city in the empire.

      To get a house of your own in one of the grand schemes like Marino, Crumlin or Cabra would have been an amazing change for the people who lived there and though they missed the sense of community that living that close together afforded, the change in health and life expectation was well worth the loss of some buildings. At the end of the day people’s lives are far more important, the buildings could not have been repaired by the state (who were broke anyway) so clearance was necessary. Amsterdam was once the capital of the Dutch empire, Dublin wasn’t even the capital of an independent Ireland until 1949. These houses were slums and not the houses of the merchantile class. To compare likle with like is wrong.

      There are many great books about the decline of Dublin post the Act of Union and Kevin C. Kearns oral history books on Dublin Tenement life are a real eye opener

    • #799333
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I accept that the slums were bad, but that stock phrase that Dublin’s slums ‘were the worst in Europe’, or ‘second only to Calcutta’ gets trotted out almost as often as the one that ascerted that O’Connell Street was once one of the ‘Finest streets in Europe’. There is actually no basis for these statements. It’s part of our insular mind-set that anything that we have that’s moderately good, we’re convinced is ‘outstanding’ and anything that’s poor is ‘horrendous’.

      I remember having to research a meat packing plant for a Bolton Street project and each meat factory owner I phoned, without prompting, described his operation as ‘the most modern in Europe’! Maybe they were, but I suspect that an average 20 year old facility in Holland or Germany would have given them a run for their money.

      I’m not convinced that we had any unique housing conditions in Dublin, there were grim slums, and ghettos, in almost every city in Europe.

      The weavers houses of the Liberties were never high status houses, but they were merchantile houses in the European tradition and they had been recognised as unique and duly recorded in photographs and yet we still we allowed these houses, and numerous Dutch Billys, to vanish almost without a murmur of protest. We even knocked down sound houses of known historical importance, such as the row of early 18th century houses on Cornmarket complete with historical plaque recording the birth place of 1798 leader Napper Tandy.

      I’m not saying that Dublin was unique in casting off a chunk of it’s heritage, other cities and towns in Britain and elsewhere did this too, but the smart cities didn’t and planning applications like the current one for the demolition of Frawleys, shows us that this destructive mind-set is still out there. I get the impression sometimes that, in some circles, this is actually the default position and, IMO, we need to recognise this and tackle it head on.

    • #799334
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Summed up very well.

      What is central to this debate was the potential for these buildings, and indeed typical Georgian structures across the city, to be made habitable rather than demolished. There is clear evidence from the 1930s that the initial flat schemes the Corporation were building were not only of a derisory standard, but were more expensive to build that the cost of refurbishing existing buildings. This became increasingly apparent in the early years of slum clearance yet the demolition squads ploughed on clearing for the creation of anonymous housing schemes in place of socially layered and immensely flexible accommodation in converted townhouses.

      It also must be remembered that there were two fundamental types of ‘tenement’ (the term is used loosely): ranks of squalid cottages which were landlord purpose-built rubbish to cater for the masses who had no choice but to take what was on offer, and secondly converted townhouses in once-affluent areas. Naturally the later developments of the Guinness Trust/Iveagh Trust, Dublin Artisans Dwellings Company and others form a third but very different category. The loss of the former type is generally not to be mourned, however the eradication of so many streetscapes of townhouses from vernacular to Dutch Billy to Georgian, all of which exhibited an architectural character and distinctive urban form worth retaining, was as regrettable as it was insanely wasteful.

      It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that wiping out of enormous masses of brick and masonry, often built in heavy barn-like formations in the case of Georgian terraces, and in the case of Dutch Billies with substantial chimney substructures, for the sake of a cleared site on which to build upon all over again was in many cases economics and social engineering from the School of Raving Lunacy. With many of these buildings there was clearly substantial scope for rehabilitation and adaptation, but simply the will, the imagination and probably a broad intellect simply wasn’t there to make this happen. There are good quotes of some officials from the time advocating this policy that are probably worth digging out.

    • #799335
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter,

      The Weaver square picture reminds me slightly of another street that used to be at the foot of Cromwell’s Quarters (40 steps) just off Bow Lane W,.. think it was called Kennedy’s Villas ?
      Last time I passed by there, the street appeared to have vanished, the « Corpo-Waffe » again?
      I can’t tell if there were any Billies on the street,.. curious to see a picture of it before it’s destruction though if any exists.

    • #799336
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      The weavers houses of the Liberties were never high status houses, but they were merchantile houses in the European tradition and they had been recognised as unique and duly recorded in photographs and yet we still we allowed these houses, and numerous Dutch Billys, to vanish almost without a murmur of protest.

      They were indeed merchantile houses until the weaving industry collapsed in the 19th century, following this the houses degenerated to slums and at the time were condemned as the ‘worst slums in europe’ by the types of people like the Guinnesses who built the Iveagh schemes.

      We didn’t allow these houses to fall into disrepair and slum status it was ruthless landlords. We didn’t fight for their retention as they were squalid. At the time of the slum clearances in Ireland the school of thought as per many other european cities was to get people out of the squalid areas and into new worker housing (see some of the Amsterdam school of Apartments on the continent, and some famous examples in Berlin, Vienna and indeed most european cities) London too got rid of places of character where Jack the ripper did his work but they needed to go as people lived in appaling conditions.

      The fine buildings that survived in most European cities, London included were, like merrion square, the hoses of the better off. Almost all the slums deteriorated and were cleared. It was much later in the 20th century (70s onwards) that the thought of restoration came on board in theses Isles, something that we in Ireland have only caught on to recently.

      Yes it would have been wonderful to have an intact group of fantasticly restored weavers houses in Dublin, but given the economic, political and academic thought conditions at the time of the free state’s foundation this was never going to happen. Grieve for the loss of the streetscape by all means but don’t beat yourself up over it.

      GrahamH – I wouldn’t class the early corporation schemes as derisory or substandard. The effect of poor maintenace on some and later schemes built around road engineers plans and flinging people out to the new towns without infrastructure were far more detrimental.

    • #799337
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Rory W wrote:

      The fine buildings that survived in most European cities, London included were, like merrion square, the hoses of the better off. Almost all the slums deteriorated and were cleared.

      OK you’re probably right there, but I’m still goin’ to grumble any chance I get.

      @constat wrote:

      The Weaver square picture reminds me slightly of another street that used to be at the foot of Cromwell’s Quarters (40 steps) just off Bow Lane W,.. think it was called Kennedy’s Villas ?

      Kennedy’s Villas on Bow Lane was a strange mass concrete development that I believe was constructed as early as about 1910. It did have the look of being the surviving lower storeys of much older houses now that you mention it. I’ll have to go searching for photographs.

      I think Bow Lane was probably a mixture of gabled houses and low vernacular cottages and two storey houses, the likes of which we can see in the distance in this photograph of Bow Bridge from the Kennedy’s Villas site.

      The pub on the corner became May Murrays and survived with a new front elevation up to about ten years ago. The next house to the pub was, I believe, a twin Billy and we can see a nice pair of steeply pitched hipped roofs peeping up over the parapet. Notice on the 1872 map how a simple urban space had been created by pulling back the northern building line from the edge of the bridge. Irwin Street was created about 1710 as a second approach to the Royal Hospital. Dutch Billys a plenty here I think.

    • #799338
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hey, I missed this thread! Where was it. It’s been taken off the Ireland/Dublin section?@Rory W wrote:

      I think the fact that they had degenerated into some of the most appaling slums in Europe their demolition was welcomed by the masses (although the break up of communities wasn’t).

      Oh yeah trot out the old ‘appalling slums’ line. Look I know all about the slums. My grandfather’s street, Hardwicke Street, was demolished for slum clearance. There were obviously some raging philistines around if this street and the crescent in front of St. George’s Church was demolished ……. not even bricked up if it had to be evacuated.

    • #799339
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Hey, I missed this thread! Where was it. It’s been taken off the Ireland/Dublin section?Oh yeah trot out the old ‘appalling slums’ line. Look I know all about the slums. My grandfather’s street, Hardwicke Street, was demolished for slum clearance. There were obviously some raging philistines around if this street and the crescent in front of St. George’s Church was demolished ……. not even bricked up if it had to be evacuated.

      You’re missing the point that between the building of the Billies in the liberties (merchantile houses at first and very pretty) and the demolision of the buildings they had deteriorated through lack of upkeep and ruthless landlords.

      And anyone from Dublin can all trot out the my grandfather’s street in the rare auld times excuse – conditions in slums in Dublin were appaling. Yeah maybe it was the bleeding heart liberals that read it into the parliamentary records in Westminster and later to the Dail, perhaps it was like living in a branch of Smyths Toystore? How should I know I’m not old enough to remember and merely relying on historical records and books by historians – and what do they know? Look I’m not excusing the actions of the Corpo in all areas but the clearances were considered a good idea at the time – I think they and the politicians were (rightly) more concerned with peoples heath and wellbeing than aesthetics

    • #799340
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Here’s a clearer detail of the Van der Hagen painting of Waterford City, seen earlier in the thread.

      [ATTACH]8191[/ATTACH]

      As for surviving structures, is it naive of me to conclude that since the Buildings of Ireland Survey has no records for any of these residential types long before 1720 that none exists?

      Now I wonder if there are any interesting old photographs in this respect?

    • #799341
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ake wrote:

      . . . a clearer detail of the Van der Hagen painting of Waterford City, seen earlier in the thread. Now I wonder if there are any interesting old photographs in this respect?

      That’s a much better copy, ake.

      I can’t find any photographs on the web of the Waterford Quays, either now or in the past. Google earth don’t seem to cover Waterford. If I hadn’t a bunch of other things to do at the moment, today would have been a good day to go down there and have a look see, all the traffic would would be going the other way.

      On the regional spread of Dutch Billys, I tracked down a copy of a 1786 painting of High Street in Belfast, by John Nixon (who, lets hope had a day job) and some nice standard three storey Billys show up. There’s a group on the left and, in the distance, another low terrace of two or three. The houses at right centre may simply have dormer windows, it’s hard to tell.

      There’s at least one other print, or painting, of Billys in Belfast that I recall seeing, but that I haven’t tracked down yet. They seem to be extraordinarily disinterested in them up there, you would have thought that Dutch Billys would be right up their street, as it were.

    • #799342
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I was up in the Weavers Square / Cork Street area yesterday to have a look at some of it in the flesh.

      Interesting to see how succcessive alterations have utterly undermined any sense of enclosure in Weavers Square, from the removal of terraces on the east side and especially the south side, to the blocks of flats set 5 metres behind the old building line. Even the ‘chamfering’ of the north west corner, which now means Ormond Street just flows into the square instead of entering it.

      (Also, the block of flats on the corner of Chamber Street and Weavers Square seemed still to have people living in it; or, at least, people coming out of it- a mother and three small kids.)

      Anyway, more on topic- I saw this house on Cork Street, just opposite the junction with Ormond Street, and it set me thinking- a candidate? I don’t think it’s been mentioned on here before.

      Low ground floor, slightly odd proportions, windows slightly closer than usual, possible removal of upper floor; and then, from Virtual Earth (just above the R110 label), it seems the roof is split in two, with one part of the plan projecting further than the other.

      Maybe my eyes have been opened by this thread, or maybe my mind has been poisoned. 😉 gunter (or anyone else, for that matter)- your thoughts?

    • #799343
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The Cork Street house would be a possibility, the entrance door is on the right side of the facade diagonally opposite the rear return, but the return looks a little wide (could have been re-built). In a standard Billy, the return has to be narrow enough to still leave room on the rear elevation for a window to the main back room as well as the full width of the stairwell.

      This is a good example at 56 Capel Street. A unremarkable 19th century re-built brick facade conseals a classic Billy arrangement to the rear.


      Forcing people to see things that aren’t there, poisoning minds, none of that would stand up in court.

    • #799344
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Oooh that’s a real beauty! gunter must start organising Billy Hunts around the city – it’d be like Pat Liddy Tours, sprinkled liberally with added nerdism.

      In reference to ctesiphon’s picture, passing the other day I noticed the large house in front of the red shed (with the roller shutter) is identical to the Victorian houses on Weaver’s Square. It’s located just across the road from the entrance to the square. I suspect it was the intention to clear all of Weaver’s Square and replace it with these houses, but the developer halted mid-way, hence the survival of the ruined Billies on the square beside otherwise well-to-do housing. Is it any wonder a later picture of these houses from the 20th century shows them in poor condition.

    • #799345
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      just as an aside, would anybody have any good links to material on Dutch architecture 17th/18thc with good pictures? can’t find anthing online myself.

    • #799346
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      ake; no obvious web link comes to mind, but I do have an old fashioned book that might be of some use to you. It’s just a simple ‘Amsterdam Canal Guide’ published in 1978, but it has accurate line drawings of every house on the four circular canals and it gives the dates and details of any alterations or re-buildings.

      Interestingly it charts restorations by the ‘Stadsherstel’ from as early as 1940, when you would have thought that they might have had other problems on their hands.

      I’ve found the book to be an invaluable source in trying to understand the stylistic development of the gabled house, from the 16th century onwards, in the city where the development of the gabled house type probably reached it’s zenith..

      I’m sure a short loan spell could be organized.

      If you want to get your people to talk to my people . . .

    • #799347
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      I saw this house on Cork Street, just opposite the junction with Ormond Street, and it set me thinking- a candidate? I don’t think it’s been mentioned on here before.

      Had a look at the back today and sure enough, it does fit the pattern!

      Rear return on the opposite side to the stairwell with window to main back room in between. Not much sign of original brickwork, but interesting remnant none the less.

      Here’s one of those well known views of the three ‘Dutch Billys’ on Sweeney’s Lane (continuation of Ardee Street to the south), just to re-acquaint ourselves with the complete article.


      Apparently the small square plaque on the left side of the first gable recorded the date 1721. Date stones themselves are a bit of a Dutch characteristic. These houses were among the most drawn and photographed houses in the city until they were knocked down in 1932 and replaced by a yard.

    • #799348
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter, you musn’t have a pair of trousers with the arse left in them at this stage from sneaking round the back of various inner city gaffs to investigate the bona-fides of our heritage- I would doubt many of the local guard mutts are of Nederlands stock-more likely of Alsatian or Staffordshire lineage!!!

    • #799349
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s a funeral home next door, I could have been looking for a loved one.

    • #799350
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I have been reading this thread whenever I get a chance over the last few months and find it fascinating. It has led me to all sorts of questions about the history of Dublin’s urban form. One broad theme that I see emerging is the manner in which many of these buildings may still exist, yet remain almost invisible. It has got me wondering if this is one of the defining characteristics of Dublin’s urban morphology. Whether it is the re-facading of Dutch Billy’s, older Georgians getting a Victorian make-over, or, more recently, the ‘facadist’ approach to some of our built heritage, this form of layering seems to be a constant in the development of Dublin through the ages. Added to this could be the present trend of placing a more ‘contemporary’ facade on modernist buildings, or a box on top of older stock. Maybe I am way off the mark, but it is just something that struck me and got me rethinking my opinion on some present trends.

    • #799351
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Re-fronting has probably always been there as an option when decisions about renovation, or rebuilding, were being considered, as it is today, but I suspect that the trend to re-front ‘Dutch Billys’ as flat parapeted ‘Georgians’, as well as reflecting a desire to conform to the prevailing architectural orthodoxy, involved the other motivation of simple practicality. Exposed projecting pediment topped gables must have been particularly prone to severe weathering and/or occassionally falling into the street.

      Whereas Billys survive today in their Georgial altered form all over Dublin, It’s interesting to note that where Billys survived long enough to be protographed in their original unaltered state was only in the depressed areas of the city where the houses had become tenements and no investment in the building fabric was being made. This is why ‘Dutch Billys’ have long been associated with the Liberties in particular, when in fact there are far more Billys (albeit re-fronted) to be seen today in Dublin 1 and 2.

      South Fredrick Street is a case in point.

      Of the 10 surviving houses on the east side of the street, probably 7 or 8 of them are essentially ‘Dutch Billys’ built between the early 1740s and the mid 1750s.


      The east side of the street looking north. At first glance, this just looks like a normal small scale Georgian Street.


      The same terrace from the rear. The cruciform roofs, single shared central chimney stacks and gabled return structures are all classic ‘Dutch Billy’. The lengths to which the Georgian owners of no. 27 went to modernize their ‘Billy’ included not just replacing the whole cruciform roof and front gable, but also the back gable and they even re-roof the tiny return to get rid of it’s rear gable.
      (There’s a nice piece of original timber panelling to be seen in the front room and hallway in Brubaker’s Cafe at no. 22)


      No. 24 with the very low rain water outlets giving away the profile of the axial volume of the cruciform roof behind the altered flat parapet. The quite unGeorgian window proportions, particularly on the second floor, are also interesting.


      South Fredrick’s Street in Rocques’ time (1756). The street was a slightly lower status version of Molesworth Street, where curvilinear gabled house of all sizes must have presented a stunning contrast to the sober palladianism of Leinster House.

      Because of the largely convincing ‘Georgian’ appearance of the street frontage, it could be argued that the South Fredrick Street terrace were ‘transitional’ houses that utilized a ‘Dutch Billy’ plan and rear elevation, but were always flat parapeted and hipped roofed to the front, but I don’t buy that. ‘Transitional’ houses are a distinct group (more endangered even than ‘Billys’) and there’s no evidence that there was ever a house type in Dublin that was designed to be hipped roofed to the front and gabled to the back.

      These are photographs from 1995 of a terrace of ‘Transitional’ houses on James’ Street (one of which still survives, just).


      The steeply pitched roofs and shared central chimney stacks survive from the ‘Dutch Billy’ tradition, but there is no exploitation of the attic space and the reduction in window height towards the top storey is original to the construction and ‘Georgian’ in character. The brickwork is also a mottled yellow/red as opposed to the deep red that is characteristic of the ‘Billy’.


      As with the three ‘Transitional’ houses at the west end of Hendrick Street, the flat parapet and hipped roof to the front of these James’ Street houses is reflected in an even simpler hipped roof arrangement to the rear. The return is still there, but it’s litterally starting to disappear, no longer an essential element, it only reaches to the first floor, or even just the ground floor in some instances.

    • #799352
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      (There’s a nice piece of original timber panelling to be seen in the front room and hallway in Brubaker’s Cafe at no. 22)

      No. 26 retains many internal features too, at least in the hallway and stairs- heavy stair handrail with swan necks, door and window architraves, etc.

      And the door on the top floor leading to the room in the return is about 5’10” high- a lesson learned the hard way.

      (Interesting also to see that the archway from Sth Frederick St to Stable Lane [which one!] is an original feature- I wasn’t aware.)

    • #799353
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      No. 26 South Fredrick St. . . . door on the top floor leading to the room in the return is about 5’10” high- a lesson learned the hard way.

      Tall people get what’s coming to them, as far as I’m concerned.

      I found some of my pics of that extraordinary house in Mountrath which, if built in 1713 as stated, comes right from that period when builders were grappling with the challenge of ornamental gables and complicated roof structures.

      I wonder does anyone have any local knowledge. or old prints, of this house?

    • #799354
      Anonymous
      Inactive
      ctesiphon wrote:
      No. 26 retains many internal features too, at least in the hallway and stairs- heavy stair handrail with swan necks, door and window architraves, etc.

      And the door on the top floor leading to the room in the return is about 5’10” high- a lesson learned the hard way.

      Must google old news stories to see if the re was ever an attempted break in at the PDs office by a confused looking, tall gentleman :p

    • #799355
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Tall? I’m the same height as Joe Jordan was in the football Top Trumps! 😀

      (26 is actually the building opposite PDHQ, so I deny your accusation! I was, in fact, trying to spy on their AGM, but the lack of visible evidence suggests it was being held in, how shall I put it… a cupboard?)

    • #799356
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      The birthplace of Swift in Hoey’s Court

    • #799357
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Nice sketch.

      Interesting to note the ‘S’ shaped binders/retainers used here (wrong word, and would be very grateful for proper word here). Still see quite a few of them around Dublin. A house on Drumcondra Road comes to mind, and I recall seeing them at various other locations that I can’t think of at the moment too.

    • #799358
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Paul Clerkin wrote:

      The birthplace of Swift in Hoey’s Court

      That house is a bit of a puzzle! Swift was born in 1667 and his birth place is always given as 7 Hoey’s Court, but I’m not sure that the house in this print could be that early.

      Of course this could always be another example of that long tradition of commemorating the birth place of famous people by attaching the historical footnote, or the plaque as the case may be, to the nearest decent house still standing at the time of the commemoration. (The Beethoven House in Bonn would be a good example)

      This is Hoey’s Court in 1756 and again in 1872, after half the houses, probably including no. 7, had been demolished.

      @phil wrote:

      Interesting to note the ‘S’ shaped binders/retainers used here .

      I can’t think what the special name for these things might be, but it’s ‘Tie Bars’ that connect them and hold the building together. I know people who lived in a house on the quays that was held together by tie-bars and they used to be terrified in storms because the tie-bars would ‘sing’.

    • #799359
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for that Gunter. I would say they make a very interesting noise in the wind!

    • #799360
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Loving this thread. I noticed a building on Queen Street this morning that is almost defo a Dutch Billy. It’s one of the Bargaintown buildings and it looks like it’s more or less intact at the roof line at the front of the building.
      You can see it on this link: http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=swr0r9gg8zsn&style=b&lvl=2&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=29506912&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&where1=dublin%2C%20ireland&encType=1
      The building in question is beside the white building that is on the corner of Queen and Arran. You see the top floor windows are different. Also the roof line/parapet still has the classic Dutch Billy shape, in other words rounded off rather than squared off.
      Has this building been discussed? It looks like its rather original to me.

    • #799361
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ggeraghty wrote:

      . . . I noticed a building on Queen Street this morning that is almost defo a Dutch Billy. It’s one of the Bargaintown buildings . . . .

      I think Devin might have put up a better picture of this one, but I can’t just locate it at the moment.


      Queen Street.

      Not sure about it though. This house, and another similar one in Mary Street, could be Billys with a Victorian make over, or they could just be Victorian. Both are close to corners which might explain why the characteristic rear returns appear to be absent (in the circumstances where the building plots converge and space to the rear was restricted). For sure, both Queen Street and Mary Street were first developed in the period when the curvilinear gabled house was pretty much the the only show in town, so it is possible that they are, at least in part, surviving Billys.


      Mary Street.

      While most Dutch Billys were either three of four storeys, there appears to have been a significant sub-group that were five storey and also more specifically ‘Dutch’ in their detailing. The tall house behind the tree in Malton’s print of Stephen’s Green (posted earlier) and a house on the south side of Haymarket would be Dublin examples and then there’s that amazing five storey house besisd the exchange in Limerick that CologneMike posted up a fews pages back.

      It would be a interesting exercise to gather together the known five storey Billys and get a look at them and see if we can stick dates on any of them.

    • #799362
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Wouldn’t it just. Indeed an entire city survey for that matter, piecing together all surviving fragments and documentary evidence as an establishing baseline study. There’s a couple of hours whiled away for ya gunter, allbeit minus the €120k.

      I agree that both Mary Street and Queen Street are sadly dubious cases (you can throw Dame Street into that category too for what it’s worth). Although in the case of Queen Street, quite why you would build such an ugly structure with actual intent is not entirely clear. Perhaps it’s a thorough rebuild of a Billy where like with modern-day replacement plastic windows, a tenuous element of reproduction is incorporated for the sake of reassuring continuity – in this case the clustered central windows are the dodgy plastic glazing bars of the 1870s.

      So many interesting earlier postings there – Mountrath a gem! And an interesting point raised by Phil regarding facadisim (we won’t go down that road again), but it does indeed appear we have been at it a long time in this city. I suppose the central difference today however is that erecting a reproduction facade on a modern-framed building aspires to a much greater level of ‘deception’ than the make-do-and-mend improving efforts carried out on Billies. Conversely, reinstating a Billy facade on a thoroughly altered former Billy such as those of Thomas Street is a move of great integrity and arguably the easiest of all decisions to make in the reproduction debate.

      Good to see South Frederick Street posted – saves me having to upload my pics :). Is it disturbing I’m now getting excited every time I encounter a downpipe serving a low outlet in a parapet? This was very helpful in identifying South Frederick houses that aren’t easily visible from the rear. Also now that the PDs are ordering in the parcel tape, one doubts many of them will miss their stunning early Georgian scalloped chimneypiece in their front room mounted on a corner chimneybreast. It’s well worth a gawk in their window if anyone hasn’t seen it already. An extremely rare survivor.

      I have been Billy hunting about Dublin over the past while and hope to post some pictures soon – some known and one perhaps not (and right slap bang in the midst of one of the main streets of the city). Also, MSN Live Search Maps should be renamed Billy Camâ„¢. A purpose-designed program if ever there was one.

    • #799363
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      There’s a couple of hours whiled away for ya gunter, allbeit minus the €120k.

      I’d only squander it on food and bills anyway.

      We’re on much firmer ground here with this house at 31 Aungier Street. This is a Protected Structure and is actually called up as a ‘Hugenot house’ on DCC record of PSs no less.

      The flush windows are a clue, but the very high ground floor is initially confusing until we factor in that it probably incorporates a half sunken basement with original front railings and front area having probably been removed when the street went commercial. The back is classic ‘Billy’ with the cut-off upper landing window giving clear evidence that there was another storey and not just a gabled roof.

      Initially there’s not much to base a reconstruction on though; are we dealing with a four storey, or even a rare five storey? If a standard four storey, did it have a single window in the attic storey or did it have another pair of windows in another full storey, either in line with those below, or slightly pinched together under three quarter height wall plates?


      I’ve ghosted in a simple curvilinear gable with a single window, based on the evidence of a 1950s photograph that shows this house, no. 31, still shorn of it’s top storey, but at a time when the adjoining streetscape was still relatively intact. In this photograph there is a striking resemblence between no. 31 and no. 30 (beyond Aungier Lane) with the same unusually high floor levels and general proportions. There’s enough in that to convince me that these two houses were designed as a pair, or at least were designed to be consistant with each other.


      The 1950s photograph of Aungier Street taken from the triangle at the junction with Bishop Street with no. 30 (reduced at the time to a simple triangular gable) in the distance.

      In isolation the ‘Dutch Billy’ can look a bit flaky, but in their original context, the rhythm of the gables would have created fantastic streetscapes full of energy and variety.


      This is a rough stab at a reconstruction of the gables on these houses. Obviously the rendered elevations and the shop fronts belong to a period after the gables had disappeared, but there’s a limit to what I’m goin’ to do without my €120k.

    • #799364
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Good stuff gunter.

      I remember the Dublin Civic Trust discovered a number of late-17th century houses on Aungier Street in the 1990s – at least four with heavy pear or barley-sugar staircases from ground to top.

    • #799365
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Just a quick correction and an up-date on 31 Aungier Street thanks to it’s wonderfully helpful owner, Mr. Stanley Siev.

      No. 31 is actually the house beyond the house I had identified. I mistook a set back between it and the next house as the laneway (Aungier Place) when in fact, that laneway can be seen in the form of a surviving archway on the far side of this house in front of the gable end of the Corpo flats beyond. The fact that the house three doors up is clearly labelled ’34’ should have been a clue.

      Mr. Siev recalls that there had been talk of a road widening scheme in the ’60s resulting in the terrace we see in the b+w photograph falling into dereliction, in which state several were subsequently burned out by vandals. The already altered top storey to no. 31 itself sucumbed to fire damage when no. 32 was destroyed by fire about 1972.


      No. 31, and the truncated remains on no. 32, amid a sea of surface car parks from an 1970s aerial view.

      Fortunately the lower floors were not seriously damaged and consequently the house retains many original features. In fact the top flights of stairs to the attic storey also survive as well as the top storey floor joists which were simply flat roofed over after the fire.


      Details from the first floor showing some lovely chunky early features, including a heavy cornise moulding which, reportedly, is not plasterwork but timber! The banister profiles and swan-neck handrail feature are very similar to the Parnel St. ‘Billys’ discussed earlier. I love the tie bars (inserted by the Corporation after the supporting archway(s) to the side laneway were removed).

      As suspected, the exceptionally high ground floor is actually the result of the lowering of the originally raised ground floor into the space occupied by a half basement level to create a commercial unit at street level.

      Another feature, which I wouldn’t have previously thought of as original, is vertical plank panelling to the lower flights of the stairwell. A similar feature is noted in the recent ‘Building Condition Report’ on the Frawleys development, at no. 32 Thomas Street, which was almost certainly a ‘Dutch Billy’ of similar date.

    • #799366
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Fantastic stuff as always, gunter 🙂

      I think we can safely say going by the balustrading of the stairs that the house dates to the 1730s or 1740s, i.e. not as early some of the ancient houses further down Aungier Street. Its positioning slightly further out towards the end of the street, presumably amongst the last to be developed, would lend support to this.

      Timber cornicing is spot on too. All internal mouldings in modest houses were hewn from timber until the mid 18th century. The vertical timber panelling is interesting if original alright. Indeed its primitive character would suggest that it is the continuation of more elaborate full scale panelling – perhaps former panelling? – to the ground floor, which typically ended at first floor level.

      It’d be interesting to see just how common raised ground floors were in Dutch Billies. I suspect they really only emerged in the later houses of the 1730s and 1740s with the wider emergence of Georgian notions. Again that would help establish the date of this house if the case…

    • #799367
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Limerick ~ Irishtown

      This is a rear view image of a row of gabled houses from Broad Street (Limerick’s Irishtown).

      Below the Pacata map of 1633 showed gables fronting Broad Street (see black arrow) in Irish Town. If this was an established tradition it was continued when the Dutch gabled houses were built in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century (Pacata Hibernia 1633) ~ Judith Hill

      Limerick Museum Online: Broad Street / Cittie of Limerick 1633 (1599?)

    • #799368
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Limerick ~ Irishtown

      Sean Spellissy in his book “Limerick – In Old Photographs” displays a few Dutch Billy images on page 3 and pages 17-20. He mentions Stan Stewart as the photographer for some of the Irishtown images and an online search on the Limerick Museum web reveals quite a few images from him.

      29 Broad Street, shop of J Murphy. There is stone plaque with coat of arms (1642) to be seen between the windows above.

      Limerick Museum Online

      Brazen Head pub, No 24, rear of John Street (Continuation of Broad Street)
      The name of a red-haired woman beheaded in the fighting of 1690 against King Billy’s forces. She died near an Inn which was renamed in her honour and rebuilt in 1794.

      Limerick Museum Online

      Below Broad Street ~ Stan Stewart

    • #799369
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      CologneMike: that’s astonishing stuff again from Limerick.

      That last image (from John Street) is fantastic. The tall narrow three bay has moulded cills, like 10 Mill Street, (regarded as exclusively an early feature), and also a tiny lunette window in the attic storey just like 91 Camden Street and probably also 158-7 Parnell Street (all in Dublin).


      Cill details at no. 10 Mill Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 Camden Street . . . . . . . . . . .158 Parnell Street

      The broad four bay beside it (nearer the camera) with the plaque between the first floor windows, is also fascinating. The width of the facade and the profile of the curves suggests that, either there was a tall single attic storey (a little bit like the Marrowbone Lane house), or more likely, that the house was a ‘twin Billy’.

      If we have classic ‘Dutch Billys’ in Broad Street and John Street, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, I take it the concept of the ‘Irishtown’ district as a native catholic ghetto, had long vanished by this time!

    • #799370
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      CologneMike: that’s astonishing stuff again from Limerick.

      On the contrary Gunter it’s your appraisal of these historic images that makes posting them worthwhile. As a non-architect, it’s interesting to learn about the finer details of these images. One can’t beat the trained-eye.

      @gunter wrote:

      If we have classic ‘Dutch Billys’ in Broad Street and John Street, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, I take it the concept of the ‘Irishtown’ district as a native catholic ghetto, had long vanished by this time!

      Gunter, I don’t know. But that is one “can of worms” you could be opening up here.

      Here an excerpt from another of Sean Spellissy’s books “The History of Limerick City”.

      The Irishtown came into existence as the Anglo-Norman invaders of the old city forced the earlier inhabitants out of their island homes, across to the opposite bank of the Abbey River.

      This second settlement dates back to the days of King John. The streets were wider and some of the houses more modern but it became part of the walled city even though it retained a separate identity.

      From about 1320 the fortifications were extended to enclose the Irishtown, work that was completed with the erection of John’s gate in 1495. In 1654 only one Irishtown landlord, Christopher Sexton, was considered to be acting in “English interests”, as the others, landlords and tenants alike, were classed as “Irish papists”.

      When the old city walls were knocked in the mid-1700’s Mungret Street and John’s Square became elite residential areas. The development of Newtownpery led to the downgrading of the Irishtown.

      Timeline of Irish History ~ Richard Killeen.

      1690 Siege of Limerick, which refuses to surrender to Williamites.

      1690 Patrick Sarsfield, Jacobite commander, destroys the Williamite siege train at Ballyneety, near Limerick, in a daring raid that results in the raising of the siege of Limerick.

      1691 Second siege of Limerick. Following a truce, the treaty of Limerick formally ends the war. The generous terms offered by the Williamite military commanders to the Jacobites enrage Irish Protestant opinion.

      1695 Act forbidding Catholics to educate their children abroad or to open schools in Ireland.

      1697 Irish parliament finally approves the treaty of Limerick, but with material changes to the terms originally agreed. These changes and omissions were all to the disadvantage of Catholics.

      1697 First of the major penal laws against Catholics enacted by the Irish Parliament: “all papists exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction and all regulars of the popish clergy” to leave Ireland within the year.

      1699 Woollen Act passed at Westminister bans export of Irish wool to any destination except England.

      1704 “Act to Prevent the Further Growth of Popery”, one of the key penal laws, enacted. It forbids Catholics to buy land; to lease it for longer than 31 years; obliges partible inheritance unless one son conforms to the Established Church, in which case he inherits all; provides a sacramental test for public office.

      So without freedom of religion, education, land ownership and free trade it must have been a pretty bleak period to remain a defiant stubborn Catholic Gael!

    • #799371
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      😉

      Great pics there. The sheer scale of the Limerick Billies never fails to impress. The presence of the lunette window in that early picture begs the question if in fact some Billies were actually built with such a feature in their gables, and not a later ploy to retain some curvilinear form in their straight-jacketed reincarnations?

      That type of moulded cill was a common characteristic of most grand buildings of the early 18th century, including classically ‘correct’ facades.

      What has to be amongst the most curious terraces in Dublin is this suspicious display of Victoriana on Kildare Street, opposite the National Museum.

      These houses are no doubt a puzzle to the many inquisitive sort standing at the bus stop across the road, as they were for me for quite a few years waiting endlessly on the 15. A freak instance of Victorian domesticity in a city that was otherwise in decay at the time of their construction, these late 19th century houses of distinctly odd proportions and charming manageable scale have always stood out as an incongruous late addition to a street that was supposedly the most fashionable thoroughfare in the capital for over half a century. This would immediately lead one to conclude that these are remodellings of much earlier, possibly gabled, buildings constructed in the 1730s as part of the Molesworth estate development.

      Not so. Rocque shows the plots vacant in 1756. Only the pink block had been built.

      I haven’t had a chance to check OS from the 19th century. I think we can safely conclude that little appears until the 1870s. But the question remains – why?

      In spite of this, some structures did emerge. Notably this highly suspect house with charmingly squat door huddled at the bottom corner. The early 19th century doorcase in what is clearly an older building immediately sets alarm bells ringing.

      What brought this house to my attention was when passing by at dusk one evening, the house was in shadow, yet the bright evening sky was oddly apparent through the attic window. On closer inspection another day, it proved to be a skylight in a pitched roof behind the attic storey and parapet.

      The building also features low downpipe outlets characteristic of a formerly gabled house.

    • #799372
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Part of the attic storey is of course clearly rebuilt in yellow brick.

      Taking in the wider context, it would appear that this house was built as a pair with the adjacent rendered house.

      The window levels match, as do the positioning of the doors. The smaller windows of the rendered house suggest what the originals were like in the other.

      The render was thickly pasted over the original brickwork.

      The easily passed over wrought iron date stamp ties in perfectly with immediately post-Rocque.

      The exposed sash boxes of these reproduction windows suggest these were very old fashioned houses.

      Is it therefore possible that we have encountered the last Dutch Billies built in Dublin? Personally I think that’s stretching matters, bringing gables into the late 1750s on the most fashionable street in the city, and when Henrietta Street with flat parapets was entirely complete by this stage. Though we certainly have evidence of gables being erected on Molesworth Street in the mid 1740s, long after Henrietta Street began setting trends…

      What’s the likelihood of these houses being of the transitional type, as gunter has discussed elsewhere?

      Here’s the all-important distinctive cruciform shaped roof. The rendered house has been, one suspects, extensively altered from the original form.

      The adjoining houses also have suspicious roof forms…

    • #799373
      Anonymous
      Inactive


      We can get a reasonably good look at the back of those two Kildare Street houses from the roof of the multi-storey car park behind Molesworth St.

      Unfortunately this doesn’t really help!

      The brick fronted house has a cruciform roof, but no central chimney stack (corner fireplace), unless this has been removed, and it’s rear elevation shows no sign of a return. I remember the adjoining rendered house when it was renovated as the new ‘Taylor’s Gallery’ premises, and it was the architect, Ross Cahill-O’Brien, who did an amazingly inventive job on the house, that adding those pointy roof lights and the wrought iron date to the facade, if I’m not mistaken.

      The door surround of the rendered house is pretty conclusive evidence that the design of this house, and no doubt it’s neighbour, was, in the late 1750s, following a very traditional (old-fashioned) path rather than dabbling with any of this, cutting edge, ‘Georgian’ nonsense.

      The other prime candidates for being post Rocque ‘Billies’ are the Moore Street national monument houses, and those houses are even more ‘Billy’ like in that they have, both, the returns, and the corner fire places, of the characteristic ‘Billy’

      One perplexing aspect of both the Moore Street houses and these Kildare Street houses is that they all have top floor window arrangements that don’t hint at ever having been pinched inwards to acknowledge that they were confined into the profile of a gable,

      There’s two possible explanations for this: (a) They were’t ‘Billies’ and never had front gables, or (b) They had ‘Billy’ gables that solely fronted the triangle of the roof and were essentially independent of the top storey.

      Naturally, I’m going to go with (b)!

      . . . for two reasons: Firstly, we know that a category of ‘Dutch Billy’ existed where there wasn’t an actual attic storey, just an attic, often with little, semi-ornamental, openings like the little lunette window on the Camden St. house, or the similar feature on the recently posted example from Limerick.

      Secondly we know that, throughout the ‘Billy’ period, curvilinear gabled houses were built where the gables were totally blank, without any openings into the attic spaces, and without any impact on the spacing of the windows below. No. 10 Mill Street would be a very early example of this (there is pinching of the upper floor windows by virtue of the second floor windows being perhaps 120mm narrower than the first floor windows, but the degree of pinching is minimal), and Speaker Foster’s house (around the corner on Molesworth Street) would be a 1730s example, where three Dutch gables, supported by three separate roof volumes, rose over a perfectly evenly spaced 5 bay facade in a way that, had photographs and prints not existed, we would never guess was the original arrangement.

      Speaking of Limerick, there’s a great painting from c. 1837 of the quays with the cathedral tower in the background, by William Turner de Lond, which shows two fine ‘Billies’, one still intact and the other, masked by a flat parapet.


      This painting is published in ‘Ireland’s Painters 1600-1940’, which I’m putting on my list for Santa.

      I wonder is the house I’ve marked with an X in this 1960s aerial view, posted by Tuborg, one of the two ‘Billies’ depicted in the painting, the steps in the quay wall appear to roughly correspond!

    • #799374
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      I wonder is the house I’ve marked with an X in this 1960s aerial view, posted by Tuborg, one of the two ‘Billies’ depicted in the painting, the steps in the quay wall appear to roughly correspond!

      Gunter, the location you marked X on Georges Quay was known as Moll Darby’s fish market (today a restaurant) and it also marks Creagh Lane where an Augustinian Church once stood (right foreground painting). Therefore I would be inclined to tip that “The Locke Bar” is our Dutch Billy here, which would be two houses further to the left in Tuborg’s image.

      The Locke Bar is one of Limericks oldest pubs dating back to 1724. It is a very popular watering hole today unfortunately in my opinion it is spoilt by a long street-front conservatory awning. I could not find a decent image of the building today as it is hidden by trees. Here are a few from Limerick.com, fústar 1, fústar 2

      The painting below is by Samuel Frederick Brocas (1819) and both are very similar in content in that one could trust its authenticity. (Book Cover ~ Limerick Historical Reflections ~ Kevin Hannan)

      Also below is an image that would show Georgian buildings (1760s) appearing to the right of Creagh Lane. There are also semicircular niches (attic) to be seen on some of them, a little expression of Dutch Billy nostalgia 😉 by the architect?

    • #799375
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Graham, I wonder if fire regulations could have played some role in the “façade changes” of those Dutch Billy houses into Georgian ones.

      The use of parapets being derived from a number of building regulations introduced by the British Parliament to reduce the risk of fire spreading from one house to another. For instance, the 1707 Building Act insisted that a party wall parapet should not stand eighteen inches above the roof line. This safety feature was soon continued around the front and rear of houses and came to be an essential feature of the Georgian town house, giving a block of terrace houses a “box-like” appearance.

      Book Georgian Limerick ~ David Lee / Bob Kelly

    • #799376
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @CologneMike wrote:

      . . . I would be inclined to tip that “The Locke Bar” is our Dutch Billy here, which would be two houses further to the left in Tuborg’s image.

      The Locke Bar is one of Limericks oldest pubs dating back to 1724.

      Ah!, I see that now.

      The right hand house (with the flat parapet) seems to have been completely rebuilt, but ‘The Locke Bar’ seems to retain the lower three storeys of the left hand ‘Billy’, wow! what’s it like inside? any internal features, mouldings, fireplaces etc.? Stone built, except for the front, that’s interesting!

      There was a much smaller house, of about the same period, at no. 75 Old Kilmainham, which was also stone built, but which also had a bright red brick facade (almost certain it was a ‘Billy’) and it also had a central chimney stack on the line of the roof ridge, as indicated here in the second painting. This could be a nice provincial variation that we don’t see in mainstream Dublin ‘Billies’.

      That other terrace on Georges Quay is amazing.

      As you say, the half round attic storey windows look more like a throw-back to the gabled tradition rather than that we’re dealing with an actual terrace of ‘Billies’ that was later altered to have the latest flat parapet, but then again, keystones and skew-backs are early features you wouldn’t normally associate with the modernity of the flat parapet.

    • #799377
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      wow! what’s it like inside? any internal features, mouldings, fireplaces etc.? Stone built, except for the front, that’s interesting!

      I was in it years ago. I can’t remember when exactly but I went in to watch some obscure rugby match while visiting Limerick – Wales and New Zealand or something like that which wouldn’t have been of general interest. My memory isn’t great but I don’t recall there being any interesting features at the time; I think the entire ground floor has been gutted (i.e. “opened up”). I’ll make an effort to cast a more critical eye around the interior the next opportunity I get which will be just after Christmas. This Billy hunting thread is one of the best things on this forum.

    • #799378
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter, I browsed through Sean Curtin’s books “a Stroll down Memory Lane” and came across in volume 1 a 1950 photo of the Locke Bar (Curtin’s Pub) which would show that the right hand house (with the flat parapet) was in fact the site of the bar. Interestingly enough it had been fully intact up until then. To the left next door, all that remains of the classical Billy was just the ground floor wall.


      Another image revealed that the Moll Darby site had four (3-storey) Georgian buildings on it. Hopefully a 1900 picture might crop up sometime and reveal a bit more of George’s Quay, like this one a little further down on Merchant’s Quay.

      I must also correct this from above where I misquoted . . .

      For instance, the 1707 Building Act insisted that a party wall parapet should not stand eighteen inches above the roof line.

      Of course it should have been . . .

      For instance, the 1707 Building Act insisted that a party wall parapet should stand eighteen inches above the roof line.

    • #799379
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      John’s Square

      Jim Kemmy / Larry Walsh wrote the following in a book called “old Limerick in Postcards”.
      In Broad Street, the houses had steeply pitched gables, while those in the Meat Market and Castle Street and John’s Square had rounded, pointed or pedimented gables. Only two of these gables have survived and can be seen at the rear of the John’s Square houses, beside Brennan’s Row.

      Limerick Museum

      Photograph, b/w print. View of two Dutch gables with long chimney stack behind; St. John’s Sq., S. side.

      These Dutch gables are to be found at the rear of this house which was recently restored. I’m not sure if these two gables existed before this house / square was built or are an original part of this house?

      NIAH

      End-of-terrace five-bay three-storey over basement limestone townhouse, built in 1751, distinguished on this side of the square by a limestone ashlar symmetrical façade. Attached building to the east. Hipped slate roof. Limestone ashlar eaves cornice supporting cast-iron rainwater goods. Square-headed window openings to front elevation with limestone flat arch voussoirs, limestone ashlar sills, patent rendered reveals and six-over-six and three-over-six timber sash windows. Two-over-two timber sash window to lancet opening. Square-headed front door opening, with limestone voussoirs above original lugged limestone architrave and replacement flat-panelled timber door. Front site basement area currently opening directly onto the pavement.

      Interesting the NIAH also reveals a similar banister swan-neck handrail feature as in Gunter’s post #201 above in a house on the opposite side of the square.

      Aerial view overlooking Brennan’s Row.

    • #799380
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @CologneMike wrote:

      . . a 1950 photo of the Locke Bar (Curtin’s Pub) . . . shows that the right hand house (with the flat parapet) was in fact the site of the bar. Interestingly enough it had been fully intact up until then. To the left next door, all that remains of the classical Billy was just the ground floor wall.


      CM, I think we’re getting mixed up here, surely your ’50s photo does show the current ‘Locke Bar’, but, at that stage it’s front gable was gone completely and it had been given a flat parapet and hipped roof treatment to match the right hand house, on the other side of the laneway (out of shot). The two storey brick house beyond the single storey wall seems to match the house in the current view and there’s no other way to explain the surviving three storey stone elevation of ‘The Locke Bar’ premises to the laneway. Some time after the 1950s picture was taken the building must have lost it’s whole top storey, but below that, the fabric is probably substantially intact.

      On the little half round, attic storey, window feature we were discussing earlier, this seems to be quite a common motif in the more provincial branches of the mainstream European gabled tradition. I spotted this little cluster of examples in Travemunde, which is the outer harbour of Lubeck on the Baltic.


      I think these German houses date from about the same time as the Limerick and Dublin examples, i.e. the first half of the 18th century, but they’re in a block that also contains some 16th century half timbered houses, as well as some clearly 19th century and more recent structures.

      As cute as these German houses are, there not as cute at that pair of Dutch gables on the back of the John’s Square house! Does your aerial shot indicate that these little gables are still there?

    • #799381
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      CM, I think we’re getting mixed up here, surely your ’50s photo does show the current ‘Locke Bar’, but, at that stage it’s front gable was gone completely and it had been given a flat parapet and hipped roof treatment to match the right hand house, on the other side of the laneway (out of shot). The two storey brick house beyond the single storey wall seems to match the house in the current view and there’s no other way to explain the surviving three storey stone elevation of ‘The Locke Bar’ premises to the laneway. Some time after the 1950s picture was taken the building must have lost it’s whole top storey, but below that, the fabric is probably substantially intact.

      Damn . . . . . . I thought my “Fifty-Fifty” option on which house the Locke Bar was a certain bet, maybe we should “Ask the Audience” or “Phone-A-Friend” to confirm this one? 😉

      When comparing both images above, I looked at both possibilities and opted for the simplistic 1:1 comparison.

      On the other hand again, both Dutch gables have the same number of windows per floor (i.e. first floor has 3; second floor has 3; third floor has 2) and replacement work on the curvilinear gable top by a flat parapet and hipped roof treatment to match the right hand house is very plausible, as this appears to have happened a lot in the past as seen in previous posts.

      I wonder what motives were there in general to change the façade of these houses from one with a curvilinear gable top to one with a flat parapet?

      Fire regulations? Maybe Georgian conformity with the rest of the street?

      Does your aerial shot indicate that these little gables are still there?

      Yes, the aerial image is somewhat blurred but one can make out a sketchy outline of them at the foot of the large chimney stack (see black arrow). Those houses in Travemunde are really neat.

    • #799382
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      @CologneMike wrote:

      I wonder what motives were there in general to change the façade of these houses from one with a curvilinear gable top to one with a flat parapet?

      Fire regulations? Maybe Georgian conformity with the rest of the street? .

      never underestimate the urge to be fashionable

    • #799383
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      On the little half round, attic storey, window feature we were discussing earlier, this seems to be quite a common motif in the more provincial branches of the mainstream European gabled tradition.

      There are a few houses with the half moon window on Tuckley Street in Cork, opposite the entrance to Bishop Lucey Park ………… Cork people, where are you??

      @GrahamH wrote:

      These houses are no doubt a puzzle to the many inquisitive sort standing at the bus stop across the road, as they were for me for quite a few years waiting endlessly on the 15. A freak instance of Victorian domesticity in a city that was otherwise in decay at the time of their construction, these late 19th century houses of distinctly odd proportions and charming manageable scale have always stood out as an incongruous late addition to a street that was supposedly the most fashionable thoroughfare in the capital for over half a century. This would immediately lead one to conclude that these are remodellings of much earlier, possibly gabled, buildings constructed in the 1730s as part of the Molesworth estate development.

      Not so. Rocque shows the plots vacant in 1756.

      There was a 1773 update of Rocque by Bernard Scale. Might be worth checking to see if they’re on that. I recall that they are a mid 18th cen terrace refronted.

    • #799384
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Paul Clerkin wrote:

      never underestimate the urge to be fashionable

      The only slightly surprising thing about the ‘Locke Bar’ re-modelling is that the typical flat parapet and hipped roof we associate with the standard ‘Georgian’ moderisation of ‘Dutch Billies’, in this case, apparently happened much later in the 19th century, replacing not the original gable, but a ‘Victorian’, barge-board gable treatment, which had, in turn, replaced the original ‘Dutch’ gable. (that is, if the 19th century paintings are to be relied upon).

      On the subject of gabled house re-modelling, I spotted a nice example in Lubeck last week. The Koberg is a small square at the northern end of the city, two sides of which are late medieval -16th Century, while the other two sides appear to date to the Nepoleonic era neo-classical period. On one of the neo-classical sides is a posh hotel called the ‘Hoghehus’, and the first tell-tale sign here is the lop-sided lateral roof with a suspiciously steep pitch.

      The right hand picture, (from the handy vantage point of a Christmas Ferris wheel), shows how thin the neo-classical veneer is on these original (probably) 16th century gabled houses. I particularly liked that the centre hopper head and rain-water pipe, on the line of the division between the original two houses, has been carelessly retained, giving away the original gabled profiles!

    • #799385
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter: what strikes me her is that after the (very deliberate) ‘culture bombing’ of Luebeck by the RAF in WW II much of this stuff – indeed ANY of this stuff – actually survives; it’s almost certainly been rebuilt and that it was done with such care to the historical development of the fabric speaks volumes for German conservation practice. This marvellous thread on DBs just leaves us to ponder on what might have been. Why is ‘development’ in Ireland and GB so destructive and contemptuous of the past?

    • #799386
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      johnglas: Apparently as a key German port, Lubeck was hit early in the war in 1942, which was before the RAF had perfected obliteration from the air, so a surprising amount of it was undamaged.

      Having said that, you’ve hit the nail on the head in the matter of German funding for the care of their architectural heritage. Oddly they seem to see their old houses as an asset rather than a burden!

      They have an agency called the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt http://Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt.de which assists the funding of the restoration of ‘cultural assets’, among other environmental and cultural projects.


      Around the corner from the Koberg, there’s a fine example of one of Lubeck’s more ‘Dutch’ gabled houses receiving some TLC from the DBU, as we speak.

    • #799387
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I need to get out of this foul humour, so here’s a ‘How well do you know your Billy’ quiz!

      An authentic Irish ‘Dutch’ gable, still intact and un-photoshopped. Who can identify it?

    • #799388
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter- have you ever had a shufty at 18 Duke st.?

    • #799389
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      tommy, I don’t believe I have had a . . shufty! .. . at 18 Duke St.

      Would it improve my humour?

      When I mentioned earlier about passing around a joint at a hippy fest, you realize that this is not something that I would ever do!

    • #799390
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      tommy, I don’t believe I have had a . . shufty! .. . at 18 Duke St.

      Would it improve my humour?

      When I mentioned earlier about passing around a joint at a hippy fest, you realize that this is not something that I would ever do!

      Sorry ’bout the cockney geezah speak guv – wot i meant wuz would you ever hop it dahn there on shank’s mare and give it a good ole’ appraisal with yer expert mince pies;)

    • #799391
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @tommyt wrote:

      Sorry ’bout the cockney geezah speak guv. . . .

      I can put away my Latin dictionary so! . . . and yes 18 Duke St. is a dead cert, I’ll come back to that, and the M&S ‘Billy’, later.

      When we were speculating earlier on the missing top storey of 31 Aungier Street, we only had the 1950s photograph showing a triangular gable fronting some kind of altered roof with a side dormer to go on, but now, there’s a great new book out on Dublin slums, by Chriatiaan Corlett, called ‘Darkest Dublin’ and it has a view looking up Aungier Place showing the rear of no. 30 (the corresponding house on the north side of the laneway) and a bit of the rear of no. 31.

      There should be enough in this view to acurately reconfigure the original roof profile which, as we can just see behind the lantern, was standard ‘Dutch Billy’ cruciform shaped, interestingly unlike no. 30 which appeared not to have had a cross profile.

      Most of the photographs in the ‘Darkest Dublin’ book come from the Royal Society Of Antiquaries of Ireland collection and I hope they don’t mind it being posted here. The RSAI are a great outfit, they opened up their house on Merrion Square on ‘Culture Night’ last time out and provided coffee and expensive free chocies.

      Apparently, far from being an old fuddy duddy society, RSAI membership is open to all, and there’s also a junior membership (for anyone under sixty :))

    • #799392
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There’s a 1760s painting of Cork, by a artist called Butt, that depicts a good number of Dutch gabled buildings across the city skyline, with a particularly nice group located in the vicinity of Lavitt’s Quay.

      A general view over Lavitt’s Quay, from Patrick’s Street on the left to the old Custom House on the right.


      Rocque’s (nearly contemporary) map of Cork with a X marking the little group of buildings on the corner of Lavitt’s Quay and Percy Street.


      That block in more detail from Butt’s painting.


      The current aerial view of the site with an outline of the 18th century buildings, as depicted by Butt and Rocque, overlaid on the existing buildings.

      In the mid 18th century, this section of Lavitt’s Quay seems to have been occupied by an architectural set-piece comprising a recessed, 7 bay, hipped roofed mansion flanked by a pair of Dutch gabled, three storey, warehouses (complete with shuttered openings and winch hoists) forming a gated forecourt that wouldn’t have looked out of place in any late 17th, or early 18th, century Dutch colony from the far east to the Caribbean.

      It’s interesting that the footprint and, to some extent, the configuration of the original buildings appears to be reflected in the form of the existing buildings, I wonder if any original fabric is identifiable in the present structures? The same block appears to have potential Dutch Billy’s fronting onto Patrick Street!

      Perhaps we were being unfair to Cork after all!

    • #799393
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Fantastic detective work gunter! 🙂

      What is it with Billies and bizarre 1960s treatments?! And very odd indeed to have a supposedly fashionable and more sophisticated Carolean-style dolls house in the midst of two Billies. What’s going on there? The regular placement of the warehouses might suggest the house was built at the same time, but on the other hand its modern design and slight increase in height suggests it filled the vacant plot at a later date…

      The adjoining buildings at the corner with Patrick’s Street also appear to follow the plot divisions, if not quite the bays, of that terrace depicted by Butt. He shows a distinct break in the dormer roofs in the same place as the modern-day division. The seemingly truncated building second from the corner may just retain some early elements…

    • #799394
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This magnificent pair of early 18th century houses in Dundalk are famous for their curious goings-on.

      Slap bang in the town centre, adjacent to St, Patrick’s Church, they predate almost everything around them by nearly a century. The gables and Tudoresque chimneystack are very much of the late 19th century, as with the plate glass windows below, however the likelihood of them being gabled before this remodelling is quite high. They feature extraordinarily enormous roof forms to the rear, of such a bulk and prominence that they are either of the transitional house type, or formed gables of some sort from the very beginning. I have a Victorian photograph of the houses to dig out where the caption expressly notes that the current gables either have or have not been added – I can’t remember which at the minute!

      The gaping valley outlet to the front elevation, with chimney pots visible to the rear!

      The Victorian stack was a rebuild of an earlier stack, and a late Georgian sash is also visible in the dormer. The large first floor window opes in the front facade are also probably of late 18th century origin.

      As the houses were clearly altered in the late 18th century and probably again c. 1830, it’s unlikely that the Victorian photograph shows them in their original form either way, so they may well have been gabled. Here’s the side elevation which is strangely English in detailing. The chimneystack is also an early rebuild.

      This extension appears to have been added in the early 19th century going by the sashes, but they can be deceptive, as with the supposedly early exposed sash boxes.

      These were added/changed during the c. 1880s picturesque remodelling.

      In spite of all the changes, the tiny window opes of the front elevation remain, and feature wonderfully poor quality shimmering sheet glass 🙂

      Oh to get inside for a root…

    • #799395
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      John’s Square

      Here is another view of the two gables to the rear of John’s Square / Brennan’s Row.

      5 Broad Street / Flag Lane (1800/1920)

      Although not an original Dutch gable but the architect / property owner back in 1920 had a sense for the historical context of the street.

      NIAH describes no. 5 as an attached two-bay two-storey building, built c. 1800, with a curvilinear gabled façade c. 1920, and rubble limestone exposed side elevation. A plain modestly-scaled industrial building given an early twentieth-century flourish with a curvilinear gabled façade, which adds significantly to the architectural heritage of Broad Street.

      Lock Quay / Baal’s Bridge

      Just around the corner on Lock Quay from no. 5 Broad Street above is a b/w photograph of a print from James Henry Brocas (1790-1846) / Old Baal’s Bridge (looking downstream). On the left are two Dutch gables to be seen on the Irishtown side.

      This photograph (ca. 1900) would seem to confirm the factual existence of those two Dutch gables in the print above rather than some romantic depiction evoking an imagined past. This time the view of Baal’s Bridge is in the upstream direction and the Irshtown is on the right. There is only one gable to be seen.

      300 Year Treaty Commemoration (1691-1991)

      There is a map, birds eye view of Limerick 1691 from south by Richard Ahern, 1991, sponsored by Treaty 300 and Powers Whiskey. Based on the 1591 map in the Hardiman Collection, TCD.

      The buildings in the city numbered 1-101 with key to Englishtown (1-69) to right and Irishtown (70-101) to left.

      Parishes lettered A-E

      Alas the detail in the Limerick Museum image below is blurred as the original was probably in poster format size. It would be interesting to see how the gabled houses were depicted on it along John St, Broad St, Mary St, Nicholas St and Castle St.

    • #799396
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Great stuff CologneMike. It would appear in the Brocas print that there’s a gap between the first Billy and the hefty building on the corner, but the photograph suggests otherwise. In which case, both Billies appear in the photo, along with the gable-less narrow building immediately to the left? The next building with the Wyatt-like windows is also in the photo.

      What’s there today do you know, CologneMike?

    • #799397
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A shed, by the looks of it.

    • #799398
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      What’s there today do you know?

      GrahamH, I had a quick look but found nothing. I doubt very much if there is any thing left there today. This early 1980’s aerial photo shows the total dereliction of the Irishtown (Broad St) and the Englishtown on the other side of the Abbey River was just as bad.

      Image from book “The Irish Landscape in Photographs and Maps” by Patrick E. F. O’Dwyer

    • #799399
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      A detail showing the rear of tall gabled houses on St. Nicholas Street at a location perhaps corresponding to the (slightly later ?) five storey Dutch gabled house seen in a 19th century photograph of the Exchange

      Gunter, that Thomas Philips panorama of the city is quite interesting for detail.

      Thomas Philips with Francis Place was one of the first topographical painters of Irish scenes. The long flat prospect and the intention to record the appearance of the city as accurately as possible was characteristic of such painters. (Judith Hill ~ The Building of Limerick)

      Here is how that Dutch gable house looked like to its rear ca. 1890 before it was demolished by the Cathedral’s authority. The house was known as Galwey’s/ Ireton’s House.

      Judith Hill wrote also the following account about this house.

      One of the largest (five storeys) of the old stone houses stood next to the Exchange in Mary Street and had been occupied by the Galweys, a prominent patrician family, in the seventeenth century. This house was later given a Dutch façade: a brick skin, regularly placed timber sash windows and the curved and pedimented gable. A drawing made in 1894 from the Cathedral grave-yard shows the original stone house behind the brick façade with its irregularly placed stone-mullion windows and battlemented gable facing the grave stones.

    • #799400
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      this still the frawleys thread?

      fyi

      http://www.dublinpeople.com/content/view/1425/57/

    • #799401
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Galwey’s / Ireton’s House

      Much to my delight the Limerick Museum Online have added a few more images when searching “Dutch” as a keyword. Here are two more views to complete the “Galwey’s / Ireton’s House“ set on Nicholas Street.

    • #799402
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Lock Quay / Baal’s Bridge

      Again the Limerick Museum Online made my day with this one too. Dated 1898.

      See original

    • #799403
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Am I right in saying that the whole corner fireplace thing never really took off in Limerick?

      . . . and that nearly full height, gable ended, returns (on the opposite side to the stairwell), which in Dublin would be one of the sure identifying features of a ‘Dutch Billy’, in Limerick, were standard on mid-late 18th century Georgian terraces?

      All of this, and the practice (as at your Galwey’s House) of rebuilding the front elevation of late medieval urban tower houses with facades straight out of Amsterdam, make ‘Billy’ hunting in Limerick a little bit more challenging than I was anticipating.

      Aerial view of Broad Street showing what looks like a surviving medieval plot pattern, with perhaps the plots subsequently subdivided into two properties? The substantial remains on one medieval town house survive in the laneway to the rear (the green enclosure at the top of the aerial view).

      How many of these present structures on Broad Street were rebuilt as Dutch gabled houses in the early 18th century? . . . and may still retain fabric from this period? . . . From the evidence of the photographs of demolished Broad Street houses, posted by CologneMike earlier in the thread, you’d have to suspect that most were.

      The white painted, four storey, pair would be prime candidates, but they look like they’ve been totally gutted and turned into apartments.

    • #799404
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Am I right in saying that the whole corner fireplace thing never really took off in Limerick?

      . . . and that nearly full height, gable ended, returns (on the opposite side to the stairwell), which in Dublin would be one of the sure identifying features of a ‘Dutch Billy’, in Limerick, were standard on mid-late 18th century Georgian terraces?

      All of this, and the practice (as at your Galwey’s House) of rebuilding the front elevation of late medieval urban tower houses with facades straight out of Amsterdam, make ‘Billy’ hunting in Limerick a little bit more challenging than I was anticipating.

      Aerial view of Broad Street showing what looks like a surviving medieval plot pattern, with perhaps the plots subsequently subdivided into two properties? The substantial remains on one medieval town house survive in the laneway to the rear (the green enclosure at the top of the aerial view).

      How many of these present structures on Broad Street were rebuilt as Dutch gabled houses in the early 18th century? . . . and may still retain fabric from this period? . . .

      From the evidence of the photographs of demolished Broad Street houses, posted by CologneMike earlier in the thread, you’d have to suspect that most were.

      The white painted, four storey, pair would be prime candidates, but they look like they’ve been totally gutted and turned into apartments.

      I would have to re-quote that good woman again . . . .

      Judith Hill writes in her book “The Building of Limerick” how much the gabled houses owe to the Dutch inhabitants of Limerick is debatable.

      The Pacata map of 1633 showed gables fronting Broad Street in Irish Town. If this was an established tradition it was continued when the Dutch gabled houses were built in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century.

      Therefore, are the Broad Street gables of Dutch origin or an established Irish tradition? Or just a bit of both?

      Maybe somebody could encourage Judith Hill to organise a “Dutch Gable” talk / seminar some evening that would enlighten us a bit more on that era!

      Below are few fragments of Broad Street. Günter maybe you can determine Limerick’s preferred chimney of choice from them. 😉 Must keep an eye on Sean Curtin’s web site “Limerick ~ a stroll down Memory Lane”, as this is also an excellent source for old Limerick images (Dutch Gable hunting).

    • #799405
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      They’re great aerial shots, you don’t know how long I spent looking at distant grainy shots of Broad street, and all this time you you were sitting on a hat full of crisp clear images :rolleyes:

      I’m still not seeing chunky central chimney stacks though, so what’s the answer? Are there any corner fireplaces in Limerick?

      I like the correlation between the Broad Street roof scapes and that posted copy of the 1633 Pacata Map, but I have a sneaking feeling that this copy may be a dodgy 19th century ‘antique’ version. I have a vague recollection of seeing another version which didn’t show quite so many gable fronted houses, but instead had much more of the mini-castle type tower houses that we know existed up the lenght of Mary St./Nicholas St. and I think some of Broad St. as well.

      As usual, I can’t remember where I put the note of where I saw it, or where I saw it!

    • #799406
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Broad Street

      I thought it might be of some help to show the house numbers from Broad Street and name the laneways (A-E) in between them. Referencing them to older images is then made much easier. The lane at the rear of the houses and that runs parallel to Broad Street is called Curry Lane.

      (A) Flag Lane
      (B) Sullivan’s Lane
      (C) Bell Tavern Lane
      (D) Campbell’s Bow
      (E) Joynt’s Lane

      House numbers 5, 9, 10-16, 18-19

    • #799407
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Broad Street ~ Campbell’s Bow

      Günter, your “Canton” Chinese Take-Away (house number 12) is at the entrance of Campbell’s Bow (D). The red coloured pub (house no. 11) confusingly enough was once called the Bell Tavern even though the Lane Bell Tavern (C) is situated two houses further down!

      Source Limerick Museum #1 #2 #3

      Below one rear and one front view of Campbell’s Bow.

    • #799408
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @CologneMike wrote:

      I thought it might be of some help to show the house numbers from Broad Street

      That is useful, and more pictures too!

      So, no. 8 has been truncated by the loss of the roof and one storey and has been re-faced, no. 9 survives in it’s 19th century? state, and no. 10 has been rebuilt (entirely?)

      The surviving areas of good stonework at ground floor level of nos. 8 & 9 suggest that these two at least retain, probably substantial, fabric from the pre-brick, late medieval or early seventeenth century, castellated town house development that also lined much of Mary St./Nicholas St.

      Presumably then, like the ‘Galwey’s House’ these earlier stone structures were up-dated to have the ornamental gable topped brick facades with sash windows that the early photographs suggest. That would help explain why they’re so hard to read!

      If these houses were ‘Dutch Billys’, this would have been just a phase that they went through, as it were.

    • #799409
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I must correct this previous post where I quoted that the site of this image was in Broad Street (Sean Spellissy ~ Limerick In Old Photographs). In fact according to the Limerick Museum it was a few hundred yards further down on Mary Street.

      Dutch Gables. View of houses and shopfronts on Mary St, east side near Balls Bridge, including Pawn Office with three balls and sign. Man and woman on footpath, laundry hanging out one window. Road unpaved. Slides of Old Limerick, 1898

      Limerick Museum: Larger image

    • #799410
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Meat Market Lane / Sheep Street

      I found another pair of Dutch Gables below to match the three above which I had previously posted. It seems that a little cluster of them had existed there.

      Titled: Sarsfield’s House, Sheep Street View across rough ground of two whitewashed Dutch gabled houses in derelict condition, many windows broken, open shutters on lower window. The house to r. has two doorways, to l. (closed) with rectangular top, a boy standing in front, that to r. with triangular top, the door open, a cat in doorway. Remains of house walls l. Slides of Old Limerick, 1898

      Limerick Museum Trio, Pair, Doorway.

    • #799411
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      wow – thats a great pair of photos – look at the slope in those sills

    • #799412
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      An incredibly ambitious doorcase for a modest Billy, never mind its obvious jarring in style. Clearly this was salvaged from a demolished classical pile and proudly tacked on as a prized catch!

    • #799413
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I wish you’d give some advance warning CologneMike when you’re going to post new Limerick ‘Billys’, I’ve just drooled on my keypad !

      Like Graham, I love that pedimented doorway and wherever it comes from, if it’s not actually original to the house (and I’m thinking of that single ornate doorcase on Chamber Street) it is very close in style to the Bank Place doorway! . . . and that new pair on Sheep Street? is also the closest we’ve seen in Limerick to a chunky central chimney stack. Am I right in saying that the site of the three Billys on Sheep Street is the site that is currently still vacant with just a palisade fence surrounding it?

      These fantastic photographs from Limerick would tend to support the contention that there really was an extensive period when the urban landscape of Ireland, right across the social spectrum, was completely dominated by a single architectural style, the ‘Dutch Billy’!

      I quoted the American travel writer, J Stirling Coyne on one of the Limerick threads recently, this was what he had to say about ‘King’s Island’ on his visit to Limerick in 1841:

      ”The English-town has all the antiquated appearance of a close-built fortress, of the latter part of the seventeenth century: it’s venerable cathedral, narrow streets, and lofty houses, chiefly built in the Dutch or Flemish fashion . . ”

      To what extent could Billys have been present in the early phases of the outward expansion of the city, beyond the walled city of 1691, and before a standard Georgian pattern emerged in Newtown Perry?

      The Bank Place houses are not standard Georgian, they have ‘Billy’, or certainly transitional, features, as have several examples at this end of the new town including surviving houses on Gerald Griffin Street and Denmark Street and there’s even that suggestion of masked ‘Billys’ in the old photographs of Georges Street (demolished).

      And what about Cork?

      Remember the detail of the Butt painting from about 1757! It turns out that there’s a similar view, in print form, by Anthony Chearnley from a few years earlier (I think 1750) and it seems to depict a urban landscape that is totally dominated by curvilinear gables.


      Detail of Butt’s view of Cork (c. 1757)


      Chearnley’s view from about the same vantage point in 1750

      I marked an interesting five bay house on the left hand side, that in Butt’s view has some kind of Mansard roof, or vertically hung slatework on the third floor and dorners on the fourth. In Chearnley’s earlier view, this house is depicted as a classic five bay, three storey, twin Dutch Billy, just like the Francis Place drawn Queen Street house and no. 10 Mill Street, both in Dublin.

      Most of the houses seen in the distance over the rooftops of the Quay-front buildings, including a great arc I take to be present day Patrick Street, are recognisably ‘Billys’.

    • #799414
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Tholsel ~ Mary Street / Gaol Lane (Emily Place)

      The Tholsel (Queen Anne’s Prison) could be a little guide to help pin-point some Dutch Gable images on Mary Street.

      The first image below of the Tholsel building reveals an interesting shadow on its façade. It seems to resemble the top of a Dutch gable similar to those in the last image below of Dutch Gables from Mary Street. To date I have not managed to identify their exact location on Mary Street but I always had a hunch (speculation) that they were sited on that side of the street.

      The second image of the Tholsel shows its neighbouring shop fronts. The second building reveals a shop front with a 2-2-1 window format overhead.

      The third image is unfortunately quite faded in quality. It was taken to the rear of the Tholsel on Gaol Lane and reveals the outlines of more Dutch Gables from Mary Street.

      Emly Place (Jail Lane Bow), View of area behind the tholsel, a one storey whitewashed cottage l., lane up centre derelick land beyond cottage, whitewashed cottages poorly shown up r. of lane, back of dutch gabled houses on Mary St in distance. Two girls l. foreground and boy sitting on ground at beginning of lane.

      Source Limerick Museum: Tholsel-1 , Tholsel-2 , Gaol Lane , Mary Street.

    • #799415
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      CologneMike,

      More drool!

      The ‘Billys’ in the third image and the fourth have to be the same (adjoining a five storey on the left). So the reasonably regular terrace of four ‘Billys’ (4th image) with the central shared laneway (very unusual) directly faced the gaol, hence the shadow you’ve pointed out.

      I think I recognise the cottages in the distance in the first image, They’re the cottages on Mary Street with the 1893 94 plaque!

      That’s great stuff. This was wrecking my head too!

    • #799416
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      The ‘Billys’ in the third image and the fourth have to be the same (adjoining a five storey on the left). So the reasonably regular terrace of four ‘Billys’ (4th image) with the central shared laneway (very unusual) directly faced the gaol, hence the shadow you’ve pointed out.

      Limerick Museum

      Emly Place (Jail Lane Bow), View of area behind the tholsel, a one storey whitewashed cottage l., lane up centre derelick land beyond cottage, whitewashed cottages poorly shown up r. of lane, back of dutch gabled houses on Mary St in distance. :confused:Two girls l. foreground and boy sitting on ground at beginning of lane.

      Then we could say that the outline of those houses are not the “back of Dutch gabled houses on Mary St in distance” but in fact they are their front façades facing onto Mary Street . (i.e. on the other side of the street). The Tholsel is highlighted (black line) at the corner (junction Mary Street / Gaol Lane).

      Arrow indicating Mary Street.

      See also Junction of Long Lane with Gaol Lane and Sheep Street (1971)

    • #799417
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I thought it might be useful to map and link what was recently posted. The black lines denote roughly the path of the walls of Limerick.

      Englishtown

      (1) Abbey River Brocas print ~ Locke Bar

      (2) Nicholas Street Galwey ~ Ireton House

      (3) Meat Market Lane / Sheep Street #1 , #2

      (4) Tholsel and neighbouring buildings.

      (5) Gaol Lane (Emily Place) ~ Rear of Tholsel

      (?) Possible location for these buildings?

      (7) Buildings near Baals Bridge

      Irishtown

      (8) Lock Quay ~ Brocas print

      Map of Limerick 1740

      Sources Limerick Museum

    • #799418
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      CologneMike: I think your no. 6 is spot on.


      This would mean that the site of the four Billys (and the probable altered five storey Billy in the foreground) has essentially not been redeveloped yet!


      It seems that the Tholsel/gaol building, seen from the rear in this view, more or less lined up (marked with a red arrow) with the first of the terrace of four Billys on the opposite side of Mary Street (marked in red).


      Emily Place (Jail Lane) today with the gable wall of an early 20th century house, set back a little bit on the Tholsel corner. To the rear of the modern house some late medieval stonework survives corresponding to the location marked X on the 19th century photograph.


      A recent photograph looking up Mary Street towards the cathedral. The terrace of Billys must have been located on the site with the railings, past the stone wall and gate, beyond the 1925 green building on the left. The terrace of four cottages on the right appear in the distance in one of the Tholsel photographs and they were built in 1893 – 94 according to the stone plaque.


      The Billys would have front the site that includes the remains of ‘Fanning’s Castle’ to the rear.

    • #799419
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      It seems that the Tholsel/gaol building, seen from the rear in this view, more or less lined up (marked with a red arrow) with the first of the terrace of four Billys on the opposite side of Mary Street (marked in red).

      Günter, this was a classical example of where I could not see the wood for the trees! I must have looked at this image a dozen times in the last six months and every time I considered what you quite rightly marked as the Tholsel building, as nothing more than a damaged faded smudge part of the photo! Your trained eye excels once again! 😎 I wonder can such photographs undergo some form of detail enhancement. It really documents a lost era.

      More views of the Tholsel 1 , 2 , 3

    • #799420
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Castle Street / Nicholas Street

      This Brocas Print from 1826 shows Dutch Gables on Castle Street and on Nicholas Street in the background. The image below shows corresponding gabled houses on Nicholas Street. I know that another gabled building existed to the left as well. Today the main relief road runs right through them. I’m sure there must be more material on Nicholas Street out there as this was the main street of the Englishtown.

      Limerick Museum 1 , 2 , 3

    • #799421
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      That big house on Manor Street is a gem, but I would be 95% certain it was never a ‘Dutch Billy’. It’s in the same tradition, but I think it’s a transitional house using many of the features and building techniques of the gabled tradition, but with the new flat parapet from the start.

      Almost every other house in Dublin with a pair of apex roofs was a twin ‘Dutch Billy’ (Bachelors Walk, James’s St. etc.), you simply didn’t go to the bother of constructing two roofs unless it was to exploit the potential for a pair of gables, but the Manor St. house is hipped front and back and has, what appears to be, an original moulded granite coping to the parapet, which is quite rare.

      I’m going to back-track on this assessment, but we’ll come back to that in a minute.

      @hutton wrote:

      I beg to differ – looking at that snap, it appears to me that the top two corners are of red brick, wheras the mass of the building is in brown brick, with a definate Billy outline as best seen by the gentle curves in the top left corner.

      There’s been a disturbing development with this important house, and early indications are that hutton must have been a consultant on the job 😉

      The facade of no. 42 Manor Street had been shrouded in scaffolding for months and, in my innocence, I’d assumed that, given that the house is a Protected Structure, some meticulous conservation was going on.

      Unfortunately this appears not to have been the case.


      No. 42 Manor Street as it appeared last April and today.

      I don’t know what exactly they were at here, they seem to have decided that the obviously renewed brickwork at both ends of the parapet masked some kind of scroll profiles that simply weren’t present in Dublin in the 18th century building record (except on wings to the sides of major gabled mansions). The only way that you can even begin to argue the case for scrolls is by asserting that the remaining, un-renewed, brickwork to the top storey is original, but then, inexplicably, they’ve taken out the three ‘original’ top floor windows and replaced them with three lunettes?

      To achieve the new profile, they’ve taken out and chopped up the very rare, almost certainly 18th century, moulded stone cornice.

      This is supposed to be a ‘Protected Structure’ for Christ sake!

      I struggled with interpreting this house the last time it came up for discussion and that moulded parapet and the square proportions of the upper storey windows were the main stumbling blocks.

      On reflection, I think that I was wrong to suggest that this house was not a twin ‘Billy’, for these reasons.

      When you see the house on Google Earth it’s clear that the main axial twin roof volumes, even though they are hipped to front and rear (with apparently early cornice details), incorporate one defining twin ‘Billy’ characteristic that would be unnecessary if the hipped roofs and parapet gutters had been there at the start. The central transverse roof volume, (the equivalent of the cruciform roof of the standard Billy) which we can see (from the side elevations) the house wants to have, is absent, as it is absent from almost every known twin ‘Billy’ in Dublin. This was done in order to allow the central valley to drain to the rear and to avoid repeating the mess of wandering drain pipes across the facade of the house, coming from centrally located rain water outlets, often over centrally located windows, that can be seen in the earliest attempts to design twin ‘Billys’, most notably at no. 10 Mill Street.


      The facade and roof profile of 42 Manor Street, 7 Bachelor’s Walk and 30 Jervis Street (Leask) for comparison.

      The only convincing way to explain a roof profile like this is to recognise that originally the axial roofs must have run to gables to front and rear. In the ‘Dutch Billy’ tradition, roofs were designed, or contrived, to serve the gabled facades, not the other way round. Later, or narrower, twin ‘Billys’, like 32 Thomas Street and 25 James’s Street, dispensed with the remaining bits of tranverse roof altogether, as they must have come to be recognised as essentially useless as attic spaces and also largely unnecessary as chimney supports, given the robustness of the central corner chimney stack.

      What I think may have happened with this house, and the surviving, but similarly altered, Bachelor’s Walk twin ‘Billy’, is that, as still fashionable addresses later in the 18th century, these houses were modernised in a very deliberate and professional manner with the original early 18th century pedimented gables taken off and the existing roof structure modified and essentially designed-out of the composition with replacement, low-key, hipped profiles installed and with new flat parapets given even greater emphasis by the addition of expensive moulded parapet copings. There may even have been Georgian building firms specializing in this field; the similarities between the parapet treatment of no. 7 Bachelor’s Walk and that of no. 42 Manor Street, is striking.


      A detail of the moulded parapet coping to no. 42 Manor Street, before alteration.


      A detail of the similar moulded parapet coping to no. 7 Bachelor’s Walk.

      Although initially difficult to unravel, on reflection, no. 42 Manor Street can probably be interpreted as a pretty legible testament to both of the great 18th century building traditions in Dublin and it certainly should not have been altered in this cavalier fashion, potentially distroying in the process valuable records of early alterations in the building’s fabric. It’s not like we have that many good authentic examples of an early 18th century twin ‘Dutch Billys’ expensively made over later in the 18th century to conform to a new ‘Georgian’ taste.

      The hatchet job done on this ‘Protected Structure’ obscures all of that and turns the house into a kind of caricature.

      To add insult to injury, the crude re-pointing of the brick facade is as rough as I’ve seen in the last twenty years.

    • #799422
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Morlan wrote:

      I know I shouldn’t be surprised but.. holy fucking shit 😮

      Thanks Morlan – also apt here.

      What in the name of all that is sane is this supposed to be? 80s Miami beach meets a breakfront cabinet? I’m increasingly immune to acts of barbarisim, but this case leaves me dumbfounded.

      Notwithstanding gunter’s excellent analysis, very simply this development does not have planning permission. Permission, as recorded on DCC’s planning search at least, was given for the reinstatement of a double-gabled roofline with pedimented tops, informed by the precedents of 30 Jervis Street and the Mill Street house. What has been built in no way conforms to this, or remotely accords with any Dublin precedent, makes an absolute farce of Protected Structure status, and fundamentally looks ridiculous. The pointing was also not carried out as granted.

      Furthermore, the late-18th century style windows are completely unwarranted – ironically conforming to the very period layer of adaption which has just been decimated. The gobsmackingly haphazard pattern of glazing bars make these without question the worst reproduction windows I have ever encountered in a flagship restoration project in Dublin, and similarly accord with no known precedent. As for the lunettes, the mind boggles.

      This case exemplifies the very worst aspect of our backwards-led planning system, where little action can be taken until it’s too late, and where little or no input is gained from the right people to do the right job at the right time. What an absolute disaster. Short of replacing the doorcase, this case could not get any worse. Remedial action will have to be taken.

      gunter, on the issue of the building up of the parapet in place of the gables, how is it do you think, that there was no shadowing of replacement brick in the central valley? I get the impression from the wider view of the façade that the entire attic storey was refaced at that time, although that doesn’t quite explain the 19th century brick to the ends.

    • #799423
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      When you see the house on Google Earth it’s clear that the main axial twin roof volumes, even though they are hipped to front and rear (with apparently early cornice details), incorporate one defining twin ‘Billy’ characteristic that would be unnecessary if the hipped roofs and parapet gutters had been there at the start. The central transverse roof volume, (the equivalent of the cruciform roof of the standard Billy) which we can see (from the side elevations) the house wants to have, is absent, as it is absent from almost every known twin ‘Billy’ in Dublin.

      Roof profile visible here. Note that the four views (N, S, E & W) were taken at different times- the N view shows the scaffolding, but the others show it pre-‘sensitive interventions’.

      It would seem from the planning documents (<a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=4981/06&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%204981/06), that the architects in question were at least aware of the ambiguous history of the building. How they managed to jump from ‘The early origins and design history are unknown’ to ‘The scars on the facade where the type of brick and pointing style alter starkly show us that the original facade was formed by a double gable at this level’ and ‘The proposal is to reinstate the double gabled front based on the evidence of the roof form and using as historical guideline the roof of No 30 Jervis Street and other…’ is beyond me.

      The paragraph on the impact on the front facade bears quoting in full:

      The proposed works will restore this building to its original form, the gable front house was prevalent throughout Dublin in the 18th century but has now disappeared and it is because we recognise that this house was double-gabled that we consider it of great historical value. The alteration to parapet form that was made do not complement the original aesthetic of the house. In visual terms it made a false facade which had no connection to the roof form it was designed to conceal. Although we have no image of the house prior to alteration it is absolutely clear from the evidence of the roof structure – the central beam running from front to back at right angles to the facade – and the plan form with its angled corner chimneys that this house did have a double gabled front. We have based our proposed works on no 30 Jervis Street – a house that has many similarities to this one – which was recorded in the Georgian Society Records prior to its demolition c.1903.

      http://www.dublincity.ie/AnitePublicDocs/00039057.pdf

      Is this ‘conservation’? For such a proposal to be acceptable, the sources should be unambiguous, and even then there’s still a debate to be had. With sources that are at best ambiguous, this was never the right course of action.

    • #799424
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      PS Re pointing of the brick, as mentioned by Graham-

      Condition No.2 of the Grant from DCC:

      The works hereby permitted shall be undertaken in strict accordance with the Conservation Method Statement and the Methodology for Brick Repair and Pointing. Any departure from these methodologies that may be necessary shall only proceed following its approval in writing by the Planning Authority. Reason: To ensure that all works are carried out in accordance with best conservation practice.

    • #799425
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I hadn’t spotted this planning application.

      The whole time we were merrily exploring ‘Billys’ here (including this one!) the owners of this house had planning permission to ‘reinstate’ the presumed original twin gabled facade!

      As a very significant Protected Structure, it’s hard to believe that the planning application didn’t seem to attract any attention from anyone of a conservation frame of mind, An Taisce included.

      What has happened here is a real shame. I’ve read through the planning file now and it’s clear that the architects involved are fellow travellers, ‘Dutch Billy’ anoraks to a man by the sounds of it.

      Apart from deciding to interfere with the facade in the first place, there’s not a lot wrong with their assessment, this house was almost certainly a twin ‘Billy’ (in the 30 Jervis Street mould) . . . but these are exactly the type of former ‘Billy’ that you must never try to un-pick in an attempt to re-created an original appearance that you believe it may have had. Houses of this type are witness to the abrupt change in fashion that brought an end to the gabled tradition, in Dublin and across the country, and the survival of this type of house, in turn, is critical in any reading of the story of the ‘Dutch Billy’.

      As I’ve said before, the flat parapet alterations to this house look very early to me (1770s at a guess) and they were patently very deliberate and very assured, this house isn’t a ‘Dutch Billy’ that eventually crumbled from neglect, or was butchered by some partial demolition, it was a twin ‘Billy’ that was re-branded as a ‘Georgian’ and in that form it survived the ups and downs of the next two centuries +. Trying to un-do this now would be like scraping off the Mona Lisa to get at some fifteenth century sketch on the canvas underneath.

      @GrahamH wrote:

      gunter, on the issue of the building up of the parapet in place of the gables, how is it do you think, that there was no shadowing of replacement brick in the central valley? I get the impression from the wider view of the façade that the entire attic storey was refaced at that time, although that doesn’t quite explain the 19th century brick to the ends.

      Graham, I think the bottom of any central curvilinear sweep (between twin pedimented gables) would probably have hardly intruded one, or two, course into the brickwork of the existing parapet, if at all. In spite of the evidence from the Leask drawing of no. 30 Jervis Street, it’s also very likely that the ridge of the supporting roof wasn’t always obliged to line up directly with the centre of the pedimented gable (on twins), they may have used the masking function of the gable to slide the pediments into positions that suited the facade best, although the evidence from the tapered corner house pair on New Row South / Ward’s Hill suggests that a combination of a tiny central separating curve and comparatively huge side sweeps was a perfectly acceptable composition.

      I know that I’m probably labouring this point, but since I did started out last year doubting that this house could be firmly established to be a twin ‘Billy’, (as opposed to a hybrid transitional, flat parapeted house from the start) I just want to nail down that the evidence from the roof profile really is pretty conclusive on this point.

      Given that the house was clearly the product of the ‘Dutch Billy’ tradition, whether in fact a ‘Billy’ itself, or a transitional ‘Georgian’, it would seem reasonable to conclude that the transverse section of roof, outlined in yellow, as the natural continuation of the roof volumes terminating in the side gables, would have been present unless there was some compelling reason to omit it. As the front section of the valley gutter could have simply drained to the north or south via the front parapet gutter, the only compelling reason to omit the central section of the transverse roof was that the parapet gutter must not have originally existed and, in that circumstance, the only means of draining the front section of roof would have been via an outlet brought through the front facade between the original pair of gables that must have existed before the parapet and the parapet gutter were created. By the 1730s I think this would have been unacceptable, particularly in a three bay twin, where the outlet, and associated down pipe, would have emerged over the line of the middle windows.


      Views of the house (before alteration) from the south and the north showing the great flat parapet and moulded coping.

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      For such a proposal to be acceptable, the sources should be unambiguous, and even then there’s still a debate to be had. With sources that are at best ambiguous, this was never the right course of action.

      ctesiphon has said it, this alteration, even as originally envisaged in the planning application, was never the right course of action for a house of this importance, but as originally envisaged it could be the right course of action for numerous other, less well preserved, ‘Billys’ that languish is unrecognised half-demolished misery all over the city.

      What this episode points out to me is that, more than ever, we need a comprehensive survey and a reliable inventory of these houses, as well as some kind of reasonably well worked out guide on what to do when one of these properties comes up for redevelopment.

      It’s probably worth noting that the DCC conservation officer was uneasy about the proposal, but prepared to take a chance:

    • #799426
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for the in-depth clarifications! (god I wish I could draw). I’m nearly 100% certain you’re correct on the issue of the traverse section of roof – the exclusion of such a redundant space over the placement of a cumbersome hopper and downpipe was a no-brainer. No. 42 was also quite late – I suspect 1740s – further heightening the architectural stakes and the finesse thereof. Further confirmation of Billy status (though I’m open to correction on this) is that we haven’t yet encountered a transitional type house which features traverse gable sections – would this be the case?

      The 19th century brick infill corners are still a little confusing, but it’s possible that hastily built Georgian infill had to be repaired in the 19th century. Of greater significance is that they’re completely exposed on both sides up there: a disaster for parapet walls – it was probably this that led to the replacement brick being erected. As mentioned, the moulded capping, and indeed the house’s relatively secondary positioning on the northside, suggests the gables were removed in the fashionable 18th century, not the 19th century. The window surrounds appear to be later still, possibly dating to c. 1900, when I suspect the windows were also replaced, in spite of their antiquated style.

    • #799427
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      What has happened here is a real shame. I’ve read through the planning file now and it’s clear that the architects involved are fellow travellers, ‘Dutch Billy’ anoraks to a man by the sounds of it.

      Well I’ll leave the labelling to those of you inside the tent ;), but I’d agree with your view- I too was struck by the level of research that seems to have gone into the proposal. But the result bears little resemblance to the detail of the planning application, as noted by Graham. And that’s the real pity. Was the temptation just too much to be the first practice to return a Billy to something like its original aspect?

      The other thing that occurred to me, re a precedent- the only similar house I can think of with a flat parapet and chamfered corners is Dr Johnson’s place in London. Not very similar, admittedly, but if not that, then what?

    • #799428
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The comparison with the moulded coping on the parapet at 7 Bachelors Walk and that at 42 Manor St is very telling.

      What about the windows? The photo of the newly unveiled facade shows the new green painted sashes with wierdely wider centrepanes at ground , first and second floor level.

      What is going on ?

      This is the City Council setting a flagship example on one of its own buildings.

    • #799429
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @ctesiphon wrote:

      The other thing that occurred to me, re a precedent- the only similar house I can think of with a flat parapet and chamfered corners is Dr Johnson’s place in London. Not very similar, admittedly, but if not that, then what?

      I have a decent picture of that somewhere.

      We do have to be careful here, there are other factors at play in the contrast between the Dutch gabled Dublin, of say 1740, and flat parapeted London of the same period.

      There were something like four successive Building Control Acts, passed in London, post 1666, which certainly had the effect of utterly changing house building practice there. These Acts had limited or no effect here! This fact must be kept in mind as, potentially, a hugely distorting factor.

      It is possible that Irish ‘Dutch Billy’ building practice, might not have been all that different from the direction that English building practice would have taken, had these, ostensibly fire prevention measures, not radically altered the picture in London.

      I don’t actually believe this, but I just thought I’d say it anyway, for balance 🙂

      What seems to be generally accepted is that this series of late 17th century London Building Control Acts had at least as much to do with attempting to assert a new uniform design order on the urban streetscape of London, as they had to do with making the streetscape less combustable. In imposing building control conditions like: ”eaves to the street shall be of uniform height”, under the guise of fire safety measures, the authorities in London were creating rules that effectively out-lawed gabled houses!

      In contrast to some serious baroque tendancies in English monumental architecture at this time, under these successive building regulations, the architecture of ordinary London streetscapes began to adopt a very restrained order in what was almost a collective civic contract to be dull, . . . and this was before Cambell, Burlington and their circle began to create the Palladian movement to root out baroque from the upper levels of architectural society, around 1715.

      Happily, none of this legislation was re-enacted in Dublin, presumably because a devastating fire wasn’t the trauma that was most recently in peoples’ minds here and also, quite possibly, because there was no way anyone was going to be able to put a lid on rampant individuality in Irish urban design at this time, not for another thirty years at least.

      This is a print of Hanover Square which was begun in 1715, to illustrate the contrast between London streetscape design and Dublin streetscape design of the same period.


      A print of Hanover Square in London, laid out in 1715 . . . and a glimpse of the gabled streetscape of College Street, of a similar date, drawn from the front of Trinity.


      I think I said earlier that there were no ‘Billys’ in the background of Hogarth prints. It turns out there is one, in his ‘Carpenter’s Yard’ painting of about 1727, but it’s not in an urban context and anyway you have to set that against maybe a hundred non-Billys in his other pictures!

      @Canus wrote:

      This is the City Council setting a flagship example on one of its own buildings.

      Canus, the documentation submitted with the Manor Street application states that the applicants are the ‘Community Resource Centre’ and that they were granted a 99 year lease by Dublin City Council in 1997, so I suppose DCC wouldn’t have the responsibility under that heading, just under the heading of Planning and Building Control Authority and as the Authority under ‘Protected Structure’ legislation.

    • #799430
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s an odd ‘solution’ to an interesting problem, but the work is now done and I suppose we have to move on (it’s not going to be undone). The pointing is crude, but not half as shocking as the lifeless cement render on the building next door. (And, as an afterthought, why do architects persist in leaving wires trailing all over a facade once it’s been ‘restored’?)

    • #799431
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The new sash windows in the Manor Street house seem to be a bit of a boob. Are the centre panes really wider than the others, as Canus noted?

      On a positive note, the lunette windows were a good solution to the ‘two storeys of top-floor windows’ which looked so awkward in the elevation prior to the refurbishment.

      [align=center:12clox2z]-o-o-o-o-o-[/align:12clox2z]

      Nos. 37 & 39 Montpelier Hill circa 2005.

      Internal view prior to refurbishment.

      More conjecture here. Gables have been added to a pair of early houses at Nos. 37 & 39 Montpelier Hill, on the basis that they would have had some type of gables at some point. As can be seen in the ‘before’ pics, they were in wretched condition, with internal floor collapses and bits of original timber panelling clinging to the walls.

      The houses have a complex planning history, with a proposal for a glazed penthouse additional floor at one stage (!!). DCC refused it. Condition 1:

      Nos. 37 and 39 Montpelier Hill are two Protected Structures and very significant early 18th Century houses set in a streetscape with adjacent Protected Structures on either side of the road evoking a strong sense of the early 18th century origins of this part of the city. The proposed re-development of these properties by reason of the scale and the inappropriateness of the changes proposed would result in such radical alterations to the original structures that their historical identity would be eroded. The proposed development would be contrary to the Conservation Policy objective set out in Dublin City Development Plan 1999. <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=2960/04&theTabNo=2&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%20(2960/04)

      So they came back with the gables proposal, but it was refused again for excessive subdivision of the protected structures and overdevelopment to the rear – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=6427/05&theTabNo=2&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%206427/05

      Finally, a toned-down version got permission – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=5184/06&theTabNo=2&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%205184/06. Is complete now since the above picture was taken.

    • #799432
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Nos. 37 & 39 Montpelier Hill circa 2005.

      More conjecture here. Gables have been added to a pair of early houses at Nos. 37 & 39 Montpelier Hill, on the basis that they would have had some type of gables at some point.

      Devin:
      More conjecture yes, but there was evidence that could have been used to carry out a reasonably accurate reconstruction, and it wasn’t used.


      A Joseph Tudor image of a pair of ‘Dutch Billys’ on Montpelier Hill in 1753 (almost certainly this pair) and a recent shot of the houses after partial reconstruction with larger triangular gables.


      Nos. 37 & 39 outlined on an O.S map and a poor recent photograph of one of the brick reveals, from through the hoarding.

      I’ve screwed up every photograph I’ve tried to take of these houses over the last year, but a few things are clear:

      The houses were originally constructed of classic ‘Billy’ red brick with beautiful simple stone door surrounds. In the reconstruction, to facilitate a concrete ring beam and new light weight blockwork construction, they chose to re-render the facades.

      In order to achieve more floor area in the attic storey, or just as a pure guess, they raised the roof profile and constructed a double window facade to each of the gables.

      Like 42 Manor Street, we’re left with renovated buildings that should last into the foreseeable future, but buildings that are not an accurate restoration of their original design, nor, in the case of the Manor street house, an accurate conservation of it’s Georgian remodelling.

      Unlike Manor Street, the Montpelier Hill houses, having lost their complete top storey, should have been ripe for ‘Billy’ reconstruction. Not to attempt do so, and then to do this compromise version instead, consisting of large triangular gables and rendered facades that these houses would never have had, is another missed opportunity in my opinion.

      Maybe this is a bit harsh, given the near derelict condition that these houses have been rescued from, but we only have so many of these houses and what is so terribly wrong about restoring them properly. As restored ‘Billys’ they could have begun to re-tell that whole ‘gabled city’ chapter that is the missing from Dublin’s streetscape story. Now we’re back to having to use our imagination again.

    • #799433
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for the fill-in on those houses. Any idea how much if any of the original internal timber panelling survived the refurbishment? I recall them saying in the planning app. that they were going to keep what they could of it.

      Picture here of the Lower Leeson Street house mentioned earlier in the thread, which was I understand the last Dutch Billy gable in Dublin to have survived in original, un-rebuilt early-18th century brick (third house from the end) – probably thanks in part to it being incorporated within a later flat parapet. Demolished, along with this whole stretch of Lr. Leeson St., by developer Patrick Gallagher in the early 1980s. A colleague of mine has a good quality colour slide of the house before demolition.

    • #799434
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      We are indebted to Praxiteles for tracking down the Anthony Chearnley view of Cork City (1748), posted in full on the ‘Old Illustrations of Cork’ thread.
      *with Praxiteles you get the goods and the attitude* 🙂

      As suspected, it is a total Billyfest !

      This is going to take some digesting, but just look at Merchants Quay for starters.

      We should never have doubted Cork.

    • #799435
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Try comparing this view of Marchants Quay with a photograph of it just before it was demolished by Dunnes Stores and with a mid 19th cntury engraving also on the old pictures thread. Remarkable the fast decline of this particular sector of the city – to say nothing of the enire north facing quay from Noth Gate Bridge to the Bus Station. With one or two fig-leaves to “heritage” its just one long bland bunker skape!

    • #799436
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I can’t really get anything on that great composite photograph of Merchants’ Quay to match the Chearnley engraving! We’ll have to try to match the houses with the corresponding plots in the sequence of O.S. maps and work it that way, but that’s another day’s work.

      The correlation between Chearnley (1748) and Butt (1760) is quite good, give or take a window or two.

      I’m not sure if this Jonathan Butt print (apparently enlarged from the original by Robert Walker in 1883) post-dates his painting of this view (posted earlier in the thread) or, more likely, is just based on the same sketch.

      The tall darkly shaded four bay house in the Chearnley print, which is reminiscent of the famous Marrowbone Lane single gabled mansion, is shown here (marked with a red X) with a flat parapet and a full top storey, otherwise the terrace of Dutch Billys on Merchants’ Quay is still intact in 1760 and matches very well with Chearnley. There are even further gabled houses to the left of the ship masts beyond the other four bay (yellow X) on a stretch of the quay which is not shown developed in 1748. The terrace then comes to an abrupt end with a Palladian mansion plonked there like a modernist cube!

    • #799437
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      You might find these interesting; Butt’s view of 1760 and the map printed in Smith’s History of 1750

    • #799438
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      And here is the North and South Main Street in 1611 – lots of interesting stepped gables there.

      http://www.corkpastandpresent.ie/mapsimages/corkcityinoldmaps/c1585-1600mapofcorkcity/1585-16001.pdf

    • #799439
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter: have you seen the latest Belfast post (27)? About half-way down there is an illustration of a contemporary ‘Dutch Billy’ as part of a vernacular composition on the waterfront; looks good – we should have (had) a lot more of that.

    • #799440
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Protected structure No. 19 Stephen Street Upper, Dublin. We’ve seen this kind of thing earlier in thread: original gable-fronted building altered in Georgian period with high parapet to conceal hick early roof. There’s a plan to refurbish it, which is obviously welcome as it’s been sitting there rotting away in a prime location since the ground floor shop closed about 10 years ago.

      It has an authentic traditional timber piered shopfront, which they wanted to remove and replace if you don’t mind. It was refused – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=5040/08&theTabNo=2&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%205040/08 There’s a revised proposal now to retain and repair it, along with refurbishment of the whole building – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=2368/09&theTabNo=1&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%202368/09. The crappy 7up, HB & Irish Indo signs have been there since the day the shop closed 10 years ago. So typical, rolleyes.

    • #799441
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Protected structure No. 19 Stephen Street Upper, Dublin. We’ve seen this kind of thing earlier in thread: original gable-fronted building altered in Georgian period with high parapet to conceal hick early roof. There’s a plan to refurbish it, which is obviously welcome as it’s been sitting there rotting away in a prime location since the ground floor shop closed about 10 years ago.

      It has an authentic traditional timber piered shopfront, which they wanted to remove and replace if you don’t mind. It was refused – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=5040/08&theTabNo=2&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%205040/08 There’s a revised proposal now to retain and repair it, along with refurbishment of the whole building – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=2368/09&theTabNo=1&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%202368/09. The crappy 7up, HB & Irish Indo signs have been there since the day the shop closed 10 years ago. So typical, rolleyes.

      What about next door? Seems to be doing the Billy dance too… (possibly already uncovered in this thread)

    • #799442
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yep I was thinking that too. The proposed restoration of No. 19 appears to be a good one (with an excellent historical appraisal compiled by Cathal Crimmins).

      The outbreak of fire at No. 6 Aungier Street, an early to mid-18th century house, on Saturday night is of grave concern. This building, pictured below c. 2000 (and still appearing the same now, just burnt), features/featured a corner chimneystack and a c. 1740s dogleg staircase with turned balusters and chunky handrail. Some early doors and reveal panelling were also extant.

      The building, which is not protected, has undergone numerous recent planning applications, one of which in 2007 proposed “seriously substandard” apartments for the site. The most recent submission, in September 2008, also proposed demolition of the house and adjacent buildings for the construction of a block of more generous apartments. This was also refused on the principal grounds of:

      “The proposed demolition of the historic dwelling no. 6 Aungier Street, which retains considerable mid eighteenth century fabric and which contributes to the character of Aungier Street and provides a reference point in the evolution of the street, would seriously injure the amenities of Aungier Street, which is listed as designated conservation area and a key historic street the Dublin City Development Plan. Moreover the proposal does not accord with policy 15.10.3, which seeks the retention and re-use of older buildings of significance. Accordingly the proposed development would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

      So one wonders what is now left of the interior of this significant historic building, and indeed of its future?

    • #799443
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Garda crime scene tape around it last night.. seems to be malicious..

      Also, I popped by the Stags head pub (itself a victim of fire over the weekend) and can report that the pints, as well as the interior (of the main bar anyway) are still amongst the best in the city..

    • #799444
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Not sure if this one on Talbot Street has been posted already. I suspect the faux store front will irk people.

    • #799445
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Punchbowl wrote:

      Also, I popped by the Stags head pub (itself a victim of fire over the weekend) and can report that the pints, as well as the interior (of the main bar anyway) are still amongst the best in the city..

      The Stag’s changed hands in 2004/5. On my first visit after the changeover, I asked for a pint of tap water to go with my pint while I was sitting at the bar with the paper and, where the barman under the previous management would have rolled his eyes ever so slightly before delivering the water, the new barman replied ‘Ice and slice?’

      I’ve barely been back since.

      (The fire wasn’t me, by the way.)

    • #799446
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GP wrote:

      The sketch of the rear of the Marrowbone Lane building reminds me of the rear of a building on Aungier Street. I don’t live in Ireland so I can’t go and check the details but the back of this building was visible when the new hostel was being built on Little Longford Street. If you are on Little Longford Street, going west, you need to turn right on to Aungier Street and it is the second building on the right. The maps. live.com page shows scaffolding a year or so ago. Worth looking up?

      GP pointed this out last July and I’ve had a look at it every couple of weeks since then, but there’s still no sign of the scaffolding coming down which makes looking at the rear very difficult. The house is no. 9 Aungier Street and is just three doors down from the houses damaged in a fire on Saturday.


      rear views of 9 Aungier St. through the scaffolding and netting (one with gable profile high-lighted) and the facade of 30 Jervis St. for comparison.

      The roof profile is strongly suggestive of a close coupled twin Billy (in the 30 Jervis Street mould), but the front facade is 19th century and it looks like a lateral roof was added at the same time which masks, but does not completely hide, the twin axial roof volumes behind. Small front chimney stacks also look like a later alteration, in this case apparently they augment the original corner chimney stacks a bit to the rear. This practice did exist in the later 18th and early 19th century and an example exists at no. 20 Molesworth Street where the full corner chimney stack was dismantled and replaced by a pair of conventional flat Georgian chimney breasts erected in an elaborate attempt at modernising an otherwise largely intact Dutch Billy interior.

      The rear elevation has also been renewed in 19th century yellow brick, but the house may still retain early features and for that roof profile to have survived there has to be a very substantial original timber beam running the full depth of the house, under the central valley.

      Although there’s no particular sign of any building activity on site, there is a architect’s sign board belonging to MESH Architects in one of the front windows. Perhaps MESH could be persuaded to post some photographs of the interior, the stairs, or the roof structure?

      Of course the house may have no features that are earlier than it’s current 19th century appearance, but it certainly equates very well with a very large house on the site depicted on Rocque’s map of 1756 and we know that Aungier Street was decked in Billys, including the fine one three doors south at no. 12 (the birthplace of Thomas Moore) and around the corner on Stephen St. are the surviving pair pointed out by Devin and Punchbowl [outlined in yellow].


      12 Aungier Street, subsequently reconstructed in a half hearted fashion.

    • #799447
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      We’re jumping around here a bit, but that great Anthony Chearnley view of Cork just wants drooling over some more.


      A detail of Chearnley’s view of c. 1748 above and the 1764 map of Cork below (rotated to roughly correspond to Chearnley’s view point (marked in red).

      Earlier we looked at the variety of Billys on Merchants Quay, above is the central section of Chearnley’s prospect with Lavitt’s quay in the foreground, (from the channel that was to become Patrick’s Street on the left to the Custom House on the right). It seems clear from Chearnley’s engraving that the mainstay of the recent urban developments extending Cork City eastward onto the former marsh lands were terraces of Dutch Billys. The arc of future Patrick Street in the middle distance and what I take to be Sullivan’s Quay on the opposite side of the south channel in the background beyond, are both predominantly lined by reasonably uniform terraces of Billys.

      It could be argued that Chearnley was using a Speed style shorthand, or that he was anticipating development that hadn’t happened yet (as apparently was the case with Brooking’s 1728 depiction of Sir John Rogerson’s quay), but neither reservation really stands up. The similar ‘View of Cork’ by John Butts, from a few years later, corroborates much of the detail in Chearnley and Chearnley drew prospects of Kinsale, Youghal, and Dungarvin which feature no Billys at all, strongly suggesting that he did honestly draw what he saw in front of him and didn’t slip into some formula back at his studio.

      Chearnley’s (and Butts’) depiction of distinctively rounded ‘bell gable’ profiles in his view of Cork, suggests a regional variation. Although comparatively rare in Dublin, ‘Bell gables’ were a very common profile in Dutch urban architecture in the first half of the 18th century. In Holland, ‘Neck gables’ with clasical pediments (frontons) are probably more characteristic of a slightly earlier period, the later 17th century.

      The preference for ‘Bell gables’ in Cork, as depicted by Chearnley and Butts, is further corroborated by glimpses of gabled houses in the background of several 18th and 19th century prints, notably a view of the new Exchange at the centre of medieval Cork, where several Bell gables appear in the background, some apparently as modernisations of cagework houses.

    • #799448
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Does anyone of a Cork persuasion know if the 18th century Bernard family (later inter-married with the Beamish family) had a town house in Cork?

      This was their country seat, ‘Palace Anne’ near Enniskeane:


      photograph from: ‘A guide to Irish Country Houses’ by Mark Bence-Jones

      A remarkable mansion constructed in imported (and then transported) red brick with cut stone dressings it was completed apparently in 1714. The house had a total of five curvilinear gables, including a pair of close engaged wings. One of these wings survived the otherwise complete demolition, around 1960, of the roofless ruin, and this wing offers one of the few opportunities we have to come face to face with an actual surviving un-tampered-with ‘Dutch Billy’ in the flesh. These photographs were taken in 1996, but I imagine the structure, then in use as a farmyard store, is protected and survives in a similar condition today.

      Palace Anne must have been an extraordinary sight in the Irish countryside, but even if it didn’t start a trend for Dutch gabled country mansions, the house stands as a testament to the movement’s depth of penetration into the Irish architectural scene by the second decade of the 18th century. The pilastered facades of the gabled wings, in particular, suggest that the architect was working with some knowledge of recent, if perhaps not exactly contemporary, Dutch architecture and wasn’t entirely winging it, as it were.

      It would be interesting to know if the Bernards owned a town house in the city, perhaps one of the gabled houses depicted by Chearnley or Butts! . . . . I don’t know what line of business they were in, maybe they were just ‘landed gentry’, or maybe they were merchants made good, perhaps brick importers!

    • #799449
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      HI

      James Kelly here at Kelly and Cogan Architects.

      Apologies for not writing sooner, I tend not to keep track of the discussion forums although I generally make an exception in the case of this particular thread – which I should add is really a very scholarly and useful resource.

      I am one of the architects ‘responsible for the works at no 42 and note the comments made and queries raised.

      42 is a very interesting and significant building and I must admit I am not particularly surprised that the works to the front facade have generated such controversy. In the interests of clarity I shall try to deal with the issues raised. In no particular order the following should address the queries;

      1. Window Sashes:

      Yes they are horrendous, in fact they are the second set of windows made by the contractors sub-contractors to have been rejected by this practise, the sashes have been fitted however temporarily to seal the building while replacements are awaited. The building is still in Defects Liability Stage, delivery of correct profiles and patterned sashes are due shortly for installation and hopefully will be sufficiently improved to merit approval.

      Most of the front windows were of 20th century vintage, however a series of windows to the rear elevation dating from between the early 18th and early 19th century have been identified and restored, one pattern of which, a late 18th century pattern, with concealed frames have been selected from replication to the front elevation.

      2. The Double Gable Proposal:

      This proposal was based upon best evidence during intial survey and opening up. At that stage it was clear that the end parapet profile dated mainly from the 19th century works carried out when the building was a Police Barracks, it was also clear that brick was structurally insecure at this level, degraded and need substantial rebuilding and replacement and that teh parapet ends themselves were a cause of substantial structural deformation in the wall at that level and would need removal.

      The question then arose as to how to replace them. Internal and internal examination suggested that a double gable was the correct original treatment Gunter has demonstrated fairly accurately the thinking in this regard.

      However, during opening up works at that level, it became clear due to the discovery of two differing construction methods for brickwork namely a skin of brick over rubble bonded through to a rough brick internal wall versus solid masonry at the parapet corners, that the central section of the parapet was of a piece with the rest of the facade below while the parapet ends were considerably later in date. In other words it became obvious that the central section of the parapet had always been flat.

      Similarly, while the double profile looks convincing as drawn, it quickly became apparent that actually such a form of construction would not align with the roof and horizontal parapet gutter behind so as to throw off rainwater. The discovery of a sloped horizontal gutter to the side slopes at the front also demonstrated that water was discharged from this area to the sides down the slope and strengthened our suspicion that the parapet top in the centre had always been flat – as water could not have been discharged to the front.

      It should be added that the roof structure appears to be original although considerable repair and replacement of timber occurred around ten years ago, enough material survived to reach this conclusion.

      Our initial response was to try to verify whether the whole of the parapet was originally flat in its entirety. The cornice, it has been correctly pointed out is of early pattern and type and would seem contemporary with the larger part of the building.

      This lead to the initial conclusion that the parapet may have been flat, however when dismantled it became apparent that what appeared to be broken cornice ends within the intermediate run of the cornice were actually a set of cut corner pieces and that the cornice had at some stage been re-laid to incorporate these extraneous elements, pehaps when the ‘new’ parapet was erected?

      Further investigation, and some ‘jigsaw puzzle’ work and re-measurement of the cornice lead us to conclude that the original cornice to the front was actually roughly 2/3rds of the length of that present on site and that the other elements appeared to match side lengths of roof to the front and rear, where indeed, we found that some areas of the side facades had originally incorporated lengths of cornice supporting rainwater goods and joist ends, a fairly common detail for houses of the ealry 18th and late 17th century.

      The length of original cornice material when re-assembled and the cut ends tallied almost exactly with the width of the central 2/3rds of the parapet.

      This lead us to suspect that a profiled elevation was in fact correct but not the profile which we had opriginally assumed. A re-examination of brick at this level which went hand in hand with the removal of the unstable solid brick parapet ends reinforced this impression and a close up photo survey of both ends comparing overlaid and mirrored parapet ends showed that both ends incorporated suspiciously (almost exactly) similar S curves in the surviving original material at that level.

      We then prepared a series of drawings addressing this issue and came to the conclusion that the front elevation had indeed had a gable profile: not that shown on our original analysis but a much simpler form with a flat top and two S curve ends. We know that the gable ends were not flat because the cornice ends at the appropriate point are profiled around the sides not chamfered to meet another cornice, this suggested a brick gable meeting at a lower level.

      The Conservation Officer was contacted, visited our office and site, and concurred with our findings, a series of analysis sheets were prepared at her instigation stating in brief our findings and were forwarded to her for final approval.

      Lunette Windows:

      The situation became even more complicated when removal of plaster from the interior of the top floor front wall showed three almost intact lunette windows across the front facade, somewhat lower than and crossing the bottoms of the square top floor windows, original plaster survived within the reveals and the front elevation brick ‘skin’ merely crossed these half a brick in thickness. Obviously these windows pre-dated the square opes and when drawn aligned with the windows below. The conservation officer also examined these windows and further evidence uncovered on the inner parapet face of S curve gable ends and agreed that these windows should be re-instated, again a series of analysis sheets were prepared at her instigation stating in brief our findings and were forwarded to her for final approval.

      No evidence survived however of the window joinery to these lunettes, we therefoer chose the simplest and most basic 18th century pattern for installation. Incidentally no casings or window joinery survived at this level to the front elevation so no such material was lost.

      Brick Re-Pointing:

      We found no evidence of tuck pointing on the cleaned down original front facade, however we did find evidence of flush jointing in lime and soft sand with a simple scribed horizontal line along the centre of the joint. This is actually a very common albeit not very visually impressive 18th and 17th century detail and it was decided to replicate this jointing again with the agreement of the conservation officer. The result is of course ‘rougher’ in appearance than tuck pointing, the jointing typically (because of the varied sizes of hand made bricks) varies between 1/2 and 1 inch in thickness. In order to reuse original brick we had, in places to accept that wear on brick arrises meant the fine joints could not be achieved. Frankly this does not bother me even in the slightest. The jointing is well carried out, the mix of sand and lime is as close to that originally used as possible and while the appearance is not ‘fine’ it is authentic and has structural integrity.

      Brickwork:

      Most of the original brick was retained, where replacement of facing brick was absolutely necessary (eg: mainly on the top floor where it was badly worn) original brick matching the existing and of the same dimensions was used.

      And while surfaces of the brick were degraded generally, we concluded that the damage was not so severe as to merit wholesale replacement.

      One dilemma which perhaps was never satisfactorily resolved was what to do with the brick around the window opes. We are of the opinion that while much newer and of significantly differing appearance that this treatment is of historic significance, does no harm, and that its replacement could actually result in substantial damage to the delicate brick skin of the main body of the wall. We have therefore retained these surrounds although they do at present ‘jar’ somewhat with the remainder of the front facade.

      Conclusion:

      No 42 has been and remains something of a conundrum. The interiors are particularly fine and comparable with some of the work to be seen in Henrietta Street.

      Despite an association with this building of almost 8 years and several assessments and studies carried out by ourselves, the Heritage Council and Civic Trust almost nothing is known of its provenance.

      That said it is clear from the detail that much of the current interior survives from approximately the 1740s. However much of this detail apears to overlay and supercede earlier work.

      The front facade raises interesting issues in its own right. The lunette windows and spartan treatment of reveals withni suggest a very utilitarian usage at top floor level as do a number of ventilation chutes from this level into the roof space. Could no 42 have accommodated a workshop at top floor? Possibly but nothing more is known.

      The front doorcase we are now convinced is not contemporary withe the building and we suspect it may date from no earlier than the police barracks useage.

      One item which is intriguing is the step to the left hand of the front facade -we have found no explanation for this feature which is not reflected internally, however it would make sense in the context of a terrace of houses if this were a ‘bookend’. Was no 42 the precursor of a terrace which was never constructed?.

      The rear facade however is extraordinary. It incorporates a tower, eccentrically set rear windows (many with original frames) a quite beautiful and early rear entrance door. It was quite definitely originally lime plastererd and washed as became clear from examination of the keying of jointing to the rear wall.

      The tower we found to have originally had windows on three sides. what was its purpose? Fire watching? Astronomy?, A lookout in respect of mercantile vessels awaiting landing at sea (knowledge which would have afforded considerable commercial advantage).

      Finally, to return to the theme of this thread and the ‘Dutch Billy’. We are convinced that the current profile is correct, flat top and all!. One thing which came out of this process for us was the realisation that there was a great many more profiles to such facades than have survived or hitherto been noted. One poster refers to Dr Johnsons house, the similarity also struck us. And similar profiles are to be found in the Baltic areas as well as Holland and a number of slightly earlier country houses in England.

      So then, did we get it right?. Probably not entirely. However we have used the available evidence and found the conclusions to be undeniable. In many ways it would have been a lot easier to go down the ‘fantasy’ route and force no 42 to be the building that we ‘wanted’ it to be – Double Gables and all!. If I can make an analogy however: painting restoration often reveals ‘truths’ about the painters original intents and the tarting up, patching aggrandisement etc of subsequent owners, because once the process of restoration is commenced the restorer responds to the material revealing itself rather than superimposing his own idea of what the painting should be. No 42 is too important a building to allow for any other approach however ‘undesirable’ or ‘balloon pricking’ the conclusions may be.

      Viollet le Duc or Ruskin???

      Regards

      And Thanks for a very enjoyable and informative thread to all the posters

      James

      PS: Interesting in the context of the above to note the Lunette at the top floor of Colognemike’s Limerick ‘Billies’

    • #799450
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      The hatchet job done on this ‘Protected Structure’ obscures all of that and turns the house into a kind of caricature.

      Apologies for that statement James, but I was in shock:)

      The disadvantage of raising stuff on a forum like this is that you never know who’s out there reading it, or if the discussions are actually engaging with the people who share the same passion about the subject, but who perhaps may have better things to do at one in the morning.

      The advantage of a forum like this is that is that subjects can be teased out and research and any expertise shared without waiting for life’s-work books to be published, by which time positions are already entrenched, or the subject matter is academic anyway.

      As one of the posters stirring the pot on this thread, I’ll be attempting to digest the plethora of new information you’ve just supplied us with later on when time permits, but I certainly want to acknowledge the huge amount of effort that you’ve clearly put into this project and also the valuable new information that your work brings to the subject, now that we can read it and soon, hopefully, see the photographs!

      First reaction though would be to quote back to you one of your closing sentences:

      @JKMA wrote:

      . . . In many ways it would have been a lot easier to go down the ‘fantasy’ route and force no 42 to be the building that we ‘wanted’ it to be – Double Gables and all!.

      Is that not more an argument for conserving the building in it’s ‘found’ state, rather than reinstating some earlier, and presumed original features, and not others, especially when the full story of the house is acknowledged to be not yet fully known, and in the circumstances where the ‘Georgian’ make-over was such a magnificent piece of work, in it’s own right?

      Either way, I hope you will agree that not enough is yet know about these houses and it is crucial that important former ‘Billys’ (like 20, 21 & 32 Thomas Street, for example) which are currently under threat, are studied in detail and given the protection they deserve.

      We need a database, we need to know what the range of variations there were. We need a register of surviving houses, or houses with surviving features. There are literally hundreds of Dutch Billys across Dublin alone, lurking behind later facades waiting for their story to be told.

      It’s like as if one of the best chapter of our architectural history has had all the pages torn out and scribbled on.

      We just have to piece it back together.

    • #799451
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      42 Manor St was a RIC barracks

    • #799452
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      HI Gunter et Al

      No offence taken, frankly I think I would have said the same.

      Yes we did consider the option of reinstating the flat parapet ends. A couple of things influenced our thinking in deciding not to do so although it is something of a ‘Wisdom of Solomon’ scenario.

      Firstly the parapet ends appeared to be more late 19th century than any earlier and tallied with the works involved around the time the house became a DMP Barracks.

      Secondly the parapet end construction was causing problems for the main body of the parapet and top floor wall, resulting in a severe deflection of the upper portion of not just the parapet but also of the wall at that level. That wall is as I mentioned earlier isquite ‘delicate’ – while it appeard to be of massive construction it is actually a brick skin with a 300mm (roughly) gap behind, filled with all kinds of rubbish, broken brick, stone, mortar etc and with an inner leaf one brick thickness.

      The parapet ends could have (and still could be in the future) reconstructed, however they would need to be independently stable structurally (effectively cantilevered) and capable of receiving high wind loads, the work involved would probably be quite obtrusive.

      As we knew that the building had a gable albeit of a humbler profile type, and were going to end up with these ends removed, we followed the existing profile as closely as possible and formed the curves shown, as I said – the approach is wide open for debate in a case like this.

      In many ways I feel that if we had retained less of the original integrity of the facade (eg: tuck pointed the brick, removed the brick window surrounds, ‘prettified’ the gable ends etc) that the appearance would feel more harmonious. I am also convinced this would not have been a desirable solution.

      As I said – no 42 turned out to be quite a different creature to that which we had expected it to be, no bad thing mind you, but it is somewhat ungainly and ‘spartan’ looking for a house of its type.

      As to databases: Well someone is going to have to write up this subject, you can see the dangers inherent though, we simply do not know enough about these houses to reflect with any accuracy their original range of appearances.

      Of course the Heritage Council have our reports and records, and we will lodge our photos and survey data with the |Archive.

      The photographer has completed some internal shots and we have aked for some more to be taken, however we will not have completd the final photos until the front facade windows and one or two other items have been dealt with.

      Regards

      James

    • #799453
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hello James,

      Thank you for the time and effort put in to exhaustively responding to the issues raised on the thread: something we would gladly see more of on this site!

      As with others, apologies if the initial response to your work was unduly harsh, and in part ill-informed. As you can no doubt appreciate, the amount of botched conservation and restoration jobs which have taken place, and continue to take place, in the city condition one to expect the worst, even with unique cases such as 42 Manor Street. With no known precedent in the city, coupled with a stark deviation from the original planning permission, and woefully detailed windows (which tend to be a reliable indicator of the standard of works elsewhere), all the elements were in place to lead one to expect an ill-informed project. Quite clearly, this was not the case. Incidentally, congratulations on such a mammoth undertaking. The house is truly vast, never mind its myriad architectural and historical complexities. It takes considerable skill and professional expertise to oversee such works.

      In response to the parapet alteration and flat gable construction, while I thoroughly admire your strenuous efforts to unearth documentary evidence and piece fascinating discoveries together into a coherent picture, at the end of the day I feel this evidence proved inconclusive. While the evidence suggested a flat gable form, while it suggested S-curved profiles, and while it clearly indicated former lunette windows, this, in my view, did not constitute sufficient information to warrant a restorative intervention. While this may well be disputed by definition of its subjectivity, it is an argument that garners further support by the fact that the house was successful as an architectural entity and as an historical curiosity in its unaltered state. The highly subjective character of the works conducted at parapet level I feel are not warranted, based on unsubstantiated detailing for which there is, as yet, no known precedent in Dublin. While I absolutely admire your efforts and passion, and fully acknowledge my smug and comfortable armchair viewpoint on what was an immensely complex and challenging project, I feel one of your last statements surmised what I feel is wrong with the works conducted:

      we simply do not know enough about these houses to reflect with any accuracy their original range of appearances.

      This is the crux of the matter. Why did you feel these alterations needed to be carried out, rather than the various discoveries be meticulously recorded and the parapet be preserved as was? (even if it did involve substantial engineering works). The work conflicts with one of the fundamentals of the Venice Charter – an article with which, however contentious the main document, most architects and building historians would at least concur:

      “[The process of restoration] must stop at the point where conjecture begins” (Article 9)

      Even if the house did feature a flat-topped gable of some description as the evidence suggests, I feel the detailing of the gable could not be academically informed due to the absence of precedent elsewhere, and thus should not have been carried out at this point in time, especially when the authenticity of the Georgian and/or Victorian alterations rendered the building sufficiently coherent and ‘complete’. Just my spin on it. I think standard former gabled houses and curvilinear gabled houses, though also complex and subject to stylistic deviations, have greater scope for restoration due to their adherence to relatively standardised formats.

      In relation to the windows (my pet subject), I’d much appreciate it if you could explain in a little more detail why a late 18th century window type was chosen for the front façade. For me, this feature is equally, if in some ways even more, jarring that the gable. Why was the house restored at roofline level to its original early state, and the windows then reinstated to a later state – especially in the context of the gable being grossly unfashionable by the time these windows came into use? This makes absolutely no sense to me, nor appears to follow an architectural rationale to the observer, who will note a stodgy, leaden early house, topped by an old fashioned gable, featuring an early (if not original) doorcase, and then an array of pristine, delicately glazed, uber-fashionable, technologically advanced late Georgian windows! One would be forgiven for thinking they had developed double vision, seeing a refined Georgian façade plucked from Fitzwilliam Square overlaid on a creaky aul Billy!

      The survival of such windows to the rear provides no justification in my opinion, especially in the context of restorative efforts elsewhere on the front façade, and the retention of later features such as the machine-made brick reveals. Thus, the ensuing logic is that either the windows be restored to their early 1740s form, or the later two-over-two sashes be maintained in situ and thus complementing the modern brick reveals, in an easily read fashion. Installing late 18th century windows throws the story into disarray like pasted pages from another chapter in a book. I just cannot reconcile this part of the project on any level.

      On the brickwork, I fully concur that the correct method was chosen for re-pointing, and am delighted you didn’t opt for a tailored tuck pointed solution (as I think permission was applied for). This would have jarred greatly with the early character of the house, especially where there was no evidence of its former use (as expected). The flush pointing’s application does look a bit coarse in places however, in spite of the inherent process. Moreover, again the question arises, if you were following the original pointing detail, and reinstating the supposed original roofline detailing, why wasn’t this done likewise with the windows? Thick and chunky sash windows would have transformed the character of this building, and in my opinion for the better, with robust detailing lending the building a less awkward stance.

      I wouldn’t like to give the impression that I or we think an excellent job wasn’t conducted on the house – just the facade treatment and the appropriateness of detailing are important issues, and naturally garner the closest of attention on such an important building! I can only imagine the other parts of the house were treated with the very best attention to detail and conservation practice.

      Otherwise, many thanks again for clearing up matters and contributing to the discussion in such a detailed manner.

    • #799454
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Have just noticed that DCC have recently granted Planning permission (Reg no. 2430/09) for the redevelopment of the site of that great terrace of six Billys at nos. 6 – 11 Hendrick Street.


      The gabled houses are nos 6,7,8,9,10 & 11 with no. 12 (the one surviving house) beyond these.


      Planning drawing of the apartment block planned for the site of the six houses, (now a yard and store).

      Unbelievably Dublin City Council haven’t even sought a survey record of the foundations of these important houses.

      As usual there’s a 48 page ‘Archaeological Assesment Report’ that completely misses the significance of the site. They go on about the possibility of of locating part of the 17th century Bowling Green and some stray burials associated with a nearby graveyard, but the report manages not to mention the term ‘Dutch Billy’ or even ‘Gabled House’ once!

      They report that they put three trial trenches into the eastern half of the site and discovered that the entire basements of these three houses were preserved and loosely back-filled, . . . . and that’s it!

      One miserable diagram that could have been drawn by a ten year old! . . . . that’s as much as these houses merit?

      The report states:

      ”The testing revealed the backfilled basements of the three 18th buildings, depicted on Rocque’s map of 1756, that had previously stood on the eastern side of the proposed development site. A rear return was identified to the east of the middle building (no. 7) as well as one internal subdividing wall in the eastern basement (no. 6) and a chimneystack between the eastern and central building (nos. 6 & 7). . . . .On the basis of the results of the archaeological testing programme it is concluded that the eastern part of the proposed development, comprising nos. 6 – 8 Hendrick Street, will have no significant negative impact on archaeological material and no further mitigation is recommended for the eastern part of the proposed development site”.

      There were no third-party submissions and apparently no inter-departmental reports from the DCC Conservation Officer, or the City Archaeology Dept.!! . . just a condition to carry out the same feeble ‘archaeological assessment’ of the western half of the site (nos 9, 10 & 11) which couldn’t be explored the first time round because there’s a single storey structure on this part of the site.

      The really infuriating thing here is that there are significant unanswered questions about these houses that a thorough basement survey could probably answer:

      Nos 6 & 7 appear the least altered in the 1950s photograph and are classic three-bay houses, as is no. 12 beyond, which we know was slightly later (post Rocque) and was not gabled but had all the attributes of a transitional house before it was drastically ‘renovated’ ten or fifteeen years ago (looked at earlier in the thread). No. 8 & 11 are two bay and the entire facades (and not just the gables) may well have been subsequently rebuilt. Similarly although nos 9 & 10 appear to have retained the broad string courses that mirror nos. 6 & 7, the single bay arrangement and the window proportions suggest that these facades may also have been altered in the 19th century. In this regard, a detailed survey of the window arrangements at basement level could tell us a lot.

      What should happen in this case is that the full basement storey of these six houses should be excavated of all backfill, surveyed and photographed in detail, before careful removal, under specialist ‘building’ archaeological supervision with a particular focus of uncovering valuable information on building practices and with an eye out for any specific dating material. As improbable as it sounds, I once found a small inscribed wooden plaque under the floor boards of an 18th century house we were conserving in Clonmel that recorded the builder, the owner and the date of construction!

      OK it’s a bit hard to make out, but it says something like ”James Bray, carpenter . . . built this house . . . for Mr. John – – – ? 1794”

      This is what would be done in any civilized city.


      example of full basement excavation and survey of almost a complete city block in Stralsund.

    • #799455
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      These aren’t ‘Billys’, but as transitional houses, they do indicate how deeply rooted the ‘Billy’ tradition was. This pair of houses at nos. 40 & 41 Dorset Street Upper, probably don’t date to much before 1770, but they retain virtually the full ‘Billy’ plan, corner fireplaces gathered into a single giant chimney stack, and returns (without fireplaces) entered off the main back rooms.


      no. 40 (on the right) & no. 41 Dorset Street Upper.

      If these houses date to circa 1770 (and they closely resemble the terrace around the corner at the south end of Eccles street) their design and layout owes much more to the ‘Billy’ tradition than it does to the ‘modern’ Gergian model that people like Gardiner and Cassells in particular had being introducing all over the city, since the 1730s.

      Both houses have been substantially altered, with some changes to the floor levels of no. 41, and the complete rebuilding of the roof, (to a much lower pitch), at no. 40. Both houses were also re-faced in orange brick in, I think it’s called ‘English-garden-wall-bond’, some time in the 19th century.

      On the opposite side of the street there’s another row of houses (nos. 78, 79 & 80) with a sprinkling of transitional features, but this time the Georgian influence is considerably stronger.

      Corner fireplaces have been banished, but the main roof structure is still perpendicular to the street and the builders have struggled with the challenge of applying a lateral roof to the front where the profile isn’t quite high enough to prevent a small triangle of the main roof peeping up above the ridge.

      The lower house on the right (no. 78) is particularly interesting in that it appears to have moulded stone cills to the rear!


      rear view of no. 78.

      The appearance of a section of curve in the rear gable here is a red herring as it appears to be just a dodgy repair left after the removal of a rear chimney stack from between the windows of the main back rooms.

      Definitely looks like moulded stone cills though!

    • #799456
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      They certainly do! Very interesting in such a relatively late transitional house. Dorset Street has some fantastic early stock (which also applies to parts of the Drumcondra Road), as pictured above and with many other examples. I used to get into town along this route until recently and it was a feast for the eyes every morning (being typically lolling unconscious on the bus in the evening), with large chunks of the street dating from the 1730s through to the 1760s, presumably on foot of the Gardiner projects as well as more general ribbon development associated with the expanding Georgian city.

      The above delightful pair of transitional (dolls)houses at No. 40 and No. 41 Dorset Street Upper catch the eye immediately. Without question they significantly pre-date the 1770s though – 1760-65 being closer to the mark I’d estimate. Rocque also hints at this: his 1756 City Survey shows this entire side of the street as vacant, as well as the lands of North Frederick Street. The site of the pair of houses is outlined.

      Just four years later, his County Survey of 1760 depicts substantial progress in the interim period.

      Almost certainly, No. 40 and No. 41 date to c. 1762.

      Fully agreed with gunter though that the houses were a little old fashioned for their date; certainly in the city they would have been more generously detailed and more up to date in style. The interiors in particular speak volumes.

      The right-hand house at No. 40 underwent substantial reinstatement works in recent years. The entire ground floor of the house was a shop with expansive shopfront, with the basement well covered over. The doorcase had long disappeared, while the upper windows were aluminium casements.

      Hence, a (badly detailed) doorcase was reinstated (in the wrong place), the elevated ground floor restored, and railings and steps also put back. Though I haven’t seen the house up close in a while, it’s possible this house is faced in original brick? It had been completed covered in paint, hence the newish appearance. The ground floor window is unfortunately far too large (this was always smaller than the first floor’s), but otherwise the sashes are quite good. Given it’s highly likely the first floor window sills were dropped and the opes enlarged in the late 18th century, it makes sense to put that style back in again (though given the level of works undertaken, it would have been preferable to reinstate the house to its original form).

      Here are the paired returns as photographed before the works, built of a distinctive red brick characteristic of early and transitional houses.

      Very sadly, this is the scene today. The rear of No. 40 was decimated for a vast residential extension.

      Here’s what its fabulous return originally looked like, complete with distinctive (and increasingly rare) round-headed windows, again so typical of early Georgian houses.

      A crying shame – it was one of the best preserved in the entire city.

      A rare view of an interior of that same Billyesque return forming part of the rear room.

      In the case of the floor below, the return was divided off as a separate room. Presumably stud and/or panelled partitions typically formed the divide between these spaces originally.

      The ramped staircase balustrade with Doric newel posts. Goodness knows what’s here now (this had been reconstructed to some degree).

      And the first floor room (with truly spectacular wallpaper) featuring early timber cornicing and original modest joinery. Cornicing did not survive anywhere else in the house. Corner fireplaces of course proliferated.

    • #799457
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Great photographs of the Dorset Street houses Graham, good to know no. 40 was recorded before it was butchered.

      Still on the northside, I did a bit of delving into that famous drawing by Leask of the twin Billy at 30 Jervis Street. It would seem clear that, though largely intact when surveyed in the 1880s, some erosion of detail can be infered on the gable profiles and the pediments. A house of this status would have been finished with a bit of a flourish, one imagines, especially when they had gone to so much trouble in the composition of the facade.


      The Leask drawing and a contemporary view of that section of Jervis Street today.

      It turns out that there is a grainy photograph from the RSAI collection, published in ‘Darkest Dublin’ that shows the section of Jervis Street with the partially demolished remains of no. 30 still standing.

      Enough of the house is shown in the photograph, together with the information from the Leask drawing, to attempt to sketch a reconstruction of the streetscape, showing this twin Billy in context.

      In context, no. 30 doesn’t look half as odd as it did in isolation !

      No. 31 appears to have been a narrower, probably single gabled, version of no. 30 with the same robust classical doorway and probably the same unusual granite lintols over the windows. I’ve speculated a little bit on the second floor window arrangement given that the first floor appeared to be two bay, but given the substantial scale of the house.

      The next three houses, 32,33 &34 are all similar, two bay, houses with a single window in the gable and no. 35 beyond is a classic three bay Billy again with a single window in the gable. Obviously the exact profile of the gables and pediments is open to question, but I’d bet my bottom dollar it won’t have been far off this, and together the six houses would have created a stunning streetscape with their facades slightly turned to the south to reconcile the rectangular plots with the angle of the street.

      Whatever ‘refinement’ subsequent Georgian architecture achieved in Dublin, did anything ever come close to matching the inventiveness and vitality of these Billy streetscapes?

    • #799458
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Pretty cool to discover the remains of the Leask Jervis house in an old photo.

      And speaking of the Leask house gable arrangement, here was the view of the interlocking rear gable of 9 Aungier Street featured a few posts back, just before it dissappeared behind the hostel/office development on Digges Lane in the early ’00s. It’s certainly one of the most lucid remnants of an early gabled house in the city. It has its original central staircase and is one of four houses remaining from the original 1680s layout of Aungier Street, the others being 10 next door, 20 and 21.

    • #799459
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      . . . here was the view of the interlocking rear gable of 9 Aungier Street featured a few posts back . . .

      Where do you start with trying to unravel that?

      I didn’t know it retained it’s original staircase! that suggests that much of the interior may be intact despite the total re-facing of the facades, front and back, in 19th century brick.

      Presumably, for that central section of the rear roof profile to have survived, a central beam running front to back under the central valley gutter must survive and the steepness on those inner roof pitches suggests that the roof joists here may also be original, so the big question is goint to be; are the roof ridges, corresponding to the two rear gables, in the original position, or have taller gables been cropped?

      If the house follows the Jervis St. and Manor St. examples, the ridges are probably in their original position, but the outer gable profiles will have been altered to a shallower pitch, effectively expanding the top floor accommodation with knock-on consequences for the location of top floor windows.

      Again, if the original roof profile followed the twin Billy precedents, the side roof joists would originally have swept down to second floor joist level. If this was in fact the case, as seems likely, it ought to be possible to establish evidence of this from identifying a change in the brickwork to the party walls on either side and there might even be a built-up gable profile here, behind the internal plaster, where sections of transverse roof would probably have buttressed the chimney stacks and offered head room internally within the core of what would then have been an attic storey.

      The grouping of a pair of gables towards the centre of the elevations at 30 Jervis St. and probably also 42 Manor St., presumably reflected the need to maintain circulation headroom in a broad, double gabled, attic storey.

      What that little quarter gable was doing on the left (adjoining no. 10), god knows! There’s evidence of shared gables between pairs of houses, (we speculated earlier on the Parnel St. pair), but surely this would be a later feature!

      On the dating issue, if no. 9 Aungier Street was originally a close-coupled twin Dutch gabled house, similar to 30 Jervis Street, a 1680s date would present certain difficulties, given certain ‘origin of the species’ theories that may have been put forward! . . . . but we’ll wriggle off that particular hook when the time comes 😉

    • #799460
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I believe it’s the stairs inside, and some other limited fabric, that dates it to the 1680s rather than roof profile. Haven’t been in No. 9 myself, but I’ve been in 21. Great chunky staircase and some ancient beams in the ground floor.

      There’s another funny little ‘quarter gable’ type thing to the rear of a house dated to the 1740s at 130 Thomas Street, seen here (to the left) before the ‘Potter’s Bar’ scheme on Bridgefoot Street was built in the early ’00s. You never know what you’ll find in Dublin’s buildings …

      And no, that’s not a billboard accross the portico of St. Catherine’s. It’s just a trick of perspective. JC Decaux haven’t plumbed those depths ….. yet.

    • #799461
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      cool to discover the remains of the Leask Jervis house in an old photo.

      It turns out there’s another slightly earlier photograph that shows the dooway of no. 30 up close.


      The photograph gives good corroboration for the Leask drawing, although he slightly mixed up the rustication courses on the door surround and missed the slightly dropped keystone 🙂

      The rain water pipe, as drawn by Leask, was correct even though I was inclined to doubt it given the convoluted explation I had given earlier for how these close-coupled twin Billys were designed not to need central drain pipes on the front elevations:rolleyes:

      There’s also a better photograph of the door of no. 32, which is a bit different that I had imagined it from the other blury photograph.

      I suspect that this one was originally a match for the pedimented doorways at nos. 30 and 31, but was altered later (like a couple of the North Great Georges St. doors), to have a semi-circular fanlight, even though in this case the actual area of glass isn’t actually any bigger than it would have been under an original pediment!

    • #799462
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter,
      Sorry, I hadn’t read your reply to the Aungier Street post properly before posting the last reply as I was rushing out at the time. So to reply to your comments on the No. 9 Aungier Street rear gables:

      Your starting point seems to be that some alteration has occurred to the gables’ profiles as they appear here, and that they need to be “unravelled”. I presume your reason for this is primarily the fact that the pitch angles of the two individual rear gables are not quite symmetrical, and that the lack of symmetry does not correspond to the other known record of an interlocking double-gabled house at Jervis Street (at least as drawn by Leask), and you suggest it’s the less steep, outer pitches that have most likely been altered; made shallower. Firstly, the sharp steepness of the inner pitches would seem to limit the plausibility of their equivalent on long outer pitches on this type of roof, even allowing for your mooted previously higher ridge (which I can’t see any particular evidence/precedent for). Secondly, what’s visible at the back will of course almost certainly have been masked by curves/decoration at the front, so it’s not particularly implausible that the gables of the house should not have been symmetrical, and thus that the visible rear gables represent what was once at the front.

      In short, I wouldn’t be so sure that what we’re seeing here is not a very early, unaltered roof profile. Of course it’s not like Dublin is coming down with comparable examples, or even photographs of now-demolished comparable examples (even the Manor Street & Blackpitts/New Row houses are not readily comparable; the Jervis house is about the extent of it) that we can analyse to help draw conclusions. As in any case like this, conducting of detailed surveying would be what’s needed – inspection of roof timbers & structure, looking for early Dutch construction, opening up of wall plates, establishing a pattern of earlier ope size & position etc. etc. Who knows, maybe the gables are a reconstruction of 1928? But if there’s one thing buildings in Dublin are never short of, it’s variations on a theme, or variations on a quirk. The pair of staggered-plan cruciform roofs on Eustace Street come to mind. So for the moment, 9 Aungier Street’s rear gables remain an evocative and most probably authentic remnant of an early gabled house …….. unless you can convincingly demonstrate otherwise 🙂

    • #799463
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Given the potential parallels between 9 Aungier St., the lost house at 30 Jervis St. and the surviving house at 42 Manor St. it could be useful to try and nail down what little we do know.

      @JKMA wrote:

      However, during opening up works at that level, it became clear due to the discovery of two differing construction methods for brickwork namely a skin of brick over rubble bonded through to a rough brick internal wall versus solid masonry at the parapet corners, that the central section of the parapet was of a piece with the rest of the facade below while the parapet ends were considerably later in date. In other words it became obvious that the central section of the parapet had always been flat.

      Not sure what you’re getting at there! even in a double gabled scenario the central section of what became the flat parapet would always have been there! Any central semi-circular dip between twin pediments would have occured just above this level, and we know that the extremities of the flat parapet had been rebuilt, the brickwork was clearly more recent than that on the rest of the facade and may have been renewed at the time that most of the window surrounds were renewed.

      In any case, all 18th century external walls were constructed of a half-brick deep outed skin of presentable brickwork, an inner face constructed in brick of lesser quality and anything from half-a-brick to one-brick thickness of pretty rough ‘fill’ in between, that’s standard practice and to be expected. Surviving photographs of ‘Billys’ show that the gables were universally reduced to just one brick thickness, above the line of the slates. This wouldn’t have been a big problem for curvilinear gables because the profile of the gable never deviated too far from the line of the roof to leave much area of vunerable wall exposed. In the remodelling of 42 Manor Street, the larger (and more vunerable) areas of wall required to create the large flat parapet may have suggested to the builders that more robust, solid, brick-and-a-half, thick construction might be judicious here

      @JKMA wrote:

      Brick Re-Pointing:
      We found no evidence of tuck pointing on the cleaned down original front facade, however we did find evidence of flush jointing in lime and soft sand with a simple scribed horizontal line along the centre of the joint.

      I can’t accept that. The variation in brick joint widths is far too great for simple flush lime pointing to ever have been acceptable at this time, especially on a high status house like this. Looking again at the ‘before’ photographs, was there not clear evidence of standard tuck pointing (maybe Graham will say it was ‘wigging’) to the left of the entrance door (bottow of photograph)?

      @JKMA wrote:

      The front doorcase we are now convinced is not contemporary with the building and we suspect it may date from no earlier than the police barracks useage.

      That’s a very unexpected finding, can you elaborate on that?

      Re: 9 Aungier Street:

      @Devin wrote:

      Your starting point seems to be that some alteration has occurred to the gables’ profiles as they appear here . . .
      . . . . the sharp steepness of the inner pitches would seem to limit the plausibility of their equivalent on long outer pitches on this type of roof, even allowing for your mooted previously higher ridge (which I can’t see any particular evidence/precedent for).

      Devin, there’s no possibility that the roofs of no. 9 were built concurrently to two different angles of pitch! they just didn’t do that. All I was suggesting is that evidence of the original roof profiles could perhaps be discovered, if it’s looked for.

      The steeper inner pitch is about 53 degrees which is about right for an early gabled house and assuming that the valley rests on an original beem, I don’t see any reason not to accept that this part of the roof constrution is original, or certainly very early. The outer pitch is less than 45 degrees (looks about 42 degrees) which is outside original gable house range. Therefore the only conclusion that makes any sense is that the roof profile was altered, and that’s not exactly breaking news since we know that the whole front half of the house was re-roofed with a shallow pitched transverse roof!

      I think there is some logic to both of the alternative scenarios I suggested:

      If the roof ridges are original, then reducing the pitch of the outer sections of roof would have made sense in that it would have gained extra attic storey floor area without incurring great expense.

      If it was the ridge levels that have been lowered and the springing is actually original, then conformity to prevailing taste for flat parapets would have been achieved, again without the expense of completely rebuilding the roof.

      I can see some rational in either case, but to take the discussion further, I think we just need more information.

    • #799464
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      If it was the ridge levels that have been lowered and the springing is actually original, then conformity to prevailing taste for flat parapets would have been achieved, again without the expense of completely rebuilding the roof.

      Ok possibly, but then as we know parapet height was often increased to hide an old roof if the facade was altered in the Georgian period. Plenty of them to be seen (19 Upr. Stephen St., 131 Thomas St., 10-12 Ellis Quay (demolished in the ’80s)). Then again the facade of No. 9 has a fairly regular Georgian proportion – at least in the current late-19th/early-20th century version – so you could be on to something!

      Just searching DCC’s planning page, there’s a report and some other material on 9 Aungier Street by conservation architect Roisin Hanley in this 2005 application for upgrading of apartments – <a href="http://www.dublincity.ie/swiftlg/apas/run/WPHAPPDETAIL.DisplayUrl?theApnID=6250/05&backURL=Search%20Criteria%20>%206250/05. Looking at the Hanley report, you realise how significant this building is]0710/07[/URL]. That’s presumably part of what’s going on at the moment with the scaffolding.

      Btw that flush pointing with a line incised along the centre of the joint that JKMA mentioned is a technique itself – can’t remember the name of it. It was used on, for example, the refurbishment of the Granary building at the corner of Temple Lane and Cecelia St in Temble Bar in the 1990s.

    • #799465
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Ruled pointing or pencil pointing 🙂

      Great debate – trying to keep up here alongside other work, but just to clarify, are you both saying the pitches to the rear of No. 9 are not the same? Personally I can’t see any major difference, but presumably that’s the angle of the camera. As the rear elevation is almost certainly of 19th century stock brick, it is to be expected that the roof profile is marginally different to that of the original, especially if such extensive structural alterations took place which would have provided the incentive to improve attic accommodation, which may otherwise not have been conducted. I’d tend to agree that the inner pitches match the originals, though yes, simply more internal info is needed.

      Agreed re the Manor Street doorcase – I too found that surprising that it is not original. It matches similar doorcases of the 1740s(ish) on Middle Abbey Street and Clare Street to perfection.

      Oh and what a fabulous drawing earlier gunter – a real asset to the site. I wish more people would sketch their ideas!

    • #799466
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Just searching DCC’s planning page, there’s a report and some other material on 9 Aungier Street by conservation architect Roisin Hanley in this 2005 application for upgrading of apartments – . . . Looking at the Hanley report, you realise how significant this building is; seventeenth century oak beams all over the place.

      Thanks for the link Devin, never thought of checking for a planning file, Doh!

      That’s actually a pretty decent report, loads of information and very little bullshit, why is that so difficult to do?

      Great survey drawings too (except for that dodgy roof section;)) This is a great house, truely baffling!

      It’s pretty obvious that, in the late seventeenth century, whenever they encountered a problem, builders just threw in another beam, they must have been growing on trees!

      I wouldn’t rule out recycling either, re-using a beam in a different location during a spot of roof re-modelling, instead of hauling it down all those stairs.

      On the subject of dodgy building practice, I came across a beam (slightly later pitch-pine, not oak) in the remains of a house at 75 Old Kilmainham (a probable Billy) and it was bedded into the rubble stonework of the wall on the recycled leg of a table:)


      Since demolished, unfortunately.

      Graham: also similar doors further up Manor street, can’t find photographs at the moment. Btw, thanks for the drawing complement, only took you eight days:rolleyes:

    • #799467
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Just noticed that there was an ammendment to those Roisin Hanley drawings of 9 Aungier Street to the effect that the beams weren’t actually Oak, but were identified as Red Deal.

      The remarkable thing about this house is that, although the exterior has been comprehensibly renewed in late 19th century? yellow brick, the interior appears to be structurally intact (if only just).

      The stairs, as noted by Devin, is the real deal:

      Pics and drawings plundered from the DCC planning file.

      I suspect that the only way to begin to unravel the original roof configuration of a house like this would be to minutely examine the surviving beams for indications of earlier joist notching, assuming that some of the beams may have been re-positioned or re-used. It’s interesting that the largest section beam (noted on the drawings) seems to be the one under the valley gutter, but the change in floor level between the top landing and the front rooms would seem to preclude that this beam originally carried on to the front wall, where circulation head-room across the plan would have been severly restricted.

      I presume that, given the Protected Structure status, and the pre-1700 automatic National Monument designation entitlement, DCC are well on top of this one (like with 42 Manor St.) so we’ve nothing to worry about. *Smilie face reserved*

    • #799468
      Anonymous
      Inactive


      This is a singularly unimpressive pair of houses on the east side of Capel street (nos. 31 & 32), but, when viewed from the rear, the scale of the single shared chimney stack suggests that they are likely Billys, in Victorian disguise.

      In addition, no. 32 retains the guts of a cruciform roof and the rear configuration is standard Billy, but with a flat parapet and the facing brickwork entirely renewed. Remember that the late 17th century interior of no. 9 Aungier Street (discussed above) survives substantially intact despite the fact that every brick of its external appearance is no earlier than 19th century!

      I don’t have any further information on these houses and they’re not on the protected structure list, but I’d like to see them investigated (perhaps now under the aegis of the Capel St. ACA) before any further works of the kind apparently under way on no. 31, are carried out.

    • #799469
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Some great detective work there gunter. Two buildings one would not expect to be Billies, with their very ordered Victorian and later re-facings. Though given the provenance of Capel Street, buildings of this date should never be overlooked. There is at least one other pair on Capel Street (aside from the obvious ones) that I have my suspicions about.

      It’s interesting the extent to which rear facades were completely refaced in the 19th century. I think this is a theme we have exposed for the first time on this thread. It’s not a trend one would expect of bedraggled 19th century Dublin, and perhaps gives an indication of just how poor a quality rear facing bricks were in the first half of the 18th century. Nice set of paired returns above too.

      Referencing gunter’s earlier Jervis Street drawing again, it highlights in elegant detail how the Dutch Billy format was so very effective in lending individuality of architectural expression to each house while also creating a coherent and impressive whole, in a manner that the oft-celebrated reticent Georgian terrace with idiosyncratic doorcases never could.

      In this respect, I think the gable-fronted house is eminently more suited to the Irish psyche, with its desire for independence of style and declaration to the world irrespective of the wider consequences. The Billy format enabled free expression at roof level, while reining owners’ flights of fancy into an organised collective that was thoroughly pleasing to the eye.

    • #799470
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      . . . . the Dutch Billy format was so very effective in lending individuality of architectural expression to each house while also creating a coherent and impressive whole, in a manner that the oft-celebrated reticent Georgian terrace with idiosyncratic doorcases never could.

      In this respect, I think the gable-fronted house is eminently more suited to the Irish psyche, with its desire for independence of style and declaration to the world irrespective of the wider consequences. The Billy format enabled free expression at roof level, while reining owners’ flights of fancy into an organised collective that was thoroughly pleasing to the eye.

      Beautifully expressed Graham! We just haven’t begun to appreciate the extent, or the complexity, or the sophistication of this pre-Georgian gabled tradition. . . . . and I think you’re absolutely right to make a connection with the national psyche. Is there any other phase in our artistic development where so much of the political and cultural complexities of our national identity came bubbling to the surface. A cascade of confidence and creativity that while it may have been expressly ‘loyalist’ in it’s inseption (I believe), became ‘national’ by virtue of what it wasn’t, . . . it wasn’t English.

      In blissful ignorance of all of this, there was yet another glossy architectural piece by Robert O’Byrne in the Irish Times ‘weekend’ supplement on Saturday recounting the glories of Irish 18th century classicism, as if we haven’t read all this stuff before, a hundred times.

      Once again the sixty plus years of creativity and craft that gave us gabled, almost baroque, cityscapes (comparable to some of the finest in Europe) hardly got a mention, just a couple of dismissive phrases predictably centred on the perceived excesses of rococco plasterwork as though created by some grunting Neanderthals fumbling in a cave, too stupid to know that all the homo-sapiens were doing Robert Adam this season to a colour card from Wedgewood. If this guy was any more shallow, he’d evaporate!

      Am getting angry now, . . . better stop before I have to start editing out stuff.

      P.S. we may have underestimated the number of surviving twin Billys, I think the suggestion was six, . . . looks like there might be a couple more 🙂

    • #799471
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The imminent Bord Planeála decision on the Frawley’s site (Reg. no. 3202/08) is so critical fpr so many reasons, that getting it wrong is just not an option.

      The future of Thomas Street as a legible historic street, our ability to recognise and care for our built heritage, our ability to see the architectural heritage of this city as an asset, not a liability, the whole credibility of the planning process, they all hinge on Bord Pleanála sinking this proposal with a withering broadside. There’s no room for wishy-washy compromise here.

      But leaving all the big issues aside, just for the moment, if you take the case of no. 32 Thomas Street, in isolation, how could the planning dept. have been so stupid as to permit demolition.

      This is a former twin ‘Billy’, there just can’t be any doubt about that. These people didn’t drag heavy beams up four storeys for fun, roof configurations like this just aren’t open to two interpretations. This house is very substantially complete and it’s alterations are legible and have their own value, we need to get our act together and protect houses like this.

      Gabled houses might have been ubiquitous across much of northern Europe in the 18th century, but you’ll have a hard job finding twin-gabled houses anywhere but here. The twin-Billy was a Dublin speciality, possibly a Dublin invention, they popped up in the gabled streetscapes throughout the city, on grand houses, like 41 Stephen’s Green and on minute town houses like 25 James St.

      These houses should be cherished as an architectural symbol of the city. conserved (mostly in their altered ‘Georgian’ condition) and fixed with information panels illustrating their significance, not demolished and lost forever from our building record.

      This is another probable twin-Billy that I hadn’t spotted until Morlan posted an 80s aerial shot of Hawkin’s House.

      Mulligan’s, 8 Poolbeg Street.


      The twin roof has been slightly altered, with the eastern most volume twimmed back creating a wider valley gutter, corresponding to the dimensions of the return, but with the western volume still lining up with a centrally located front to back beam. The top floor windows have a high arched head which wouldn’t be original, but it’s probable that the original arrangement may still have been three windows, (like 25 James St.and 42 Manor St.), but it could also have reduced to two, reflecting the original twin gables above.

      Can we be sure it was a gabled house?

      Yes I think would be the answer. The whole block is shown fully developed on Rocque (1756), it has a single massive corner chimney stack, characteristic return, characteristic window opes, no evidence of transitional features, not really much room for doubt!

    • #799472
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Madness! Just madness! Fantastic work gunter – who’d have thunk it eh? (glad to see the Dept of Health proved accommodating with their biscuit tin). With a building like Mulligan’s not just being a Billy, but a double Billy at that, is a bit like declaring City Hall’s rotunda to be of antiquity encased in a Georgian shroud! It seems so obvious in hindsight (Mulligan’s that is).

      Two other factors which would lead one to conclude this is indeed a Billy is that neighbouring structures were whacked and rebuilt/refaced in time-honoured tradition in the early 19th century (in a ravishing yellow brick at that – such good taste), and also as mentioned, the large attic storey windows. A building would never be purpose-designed with such poor proportionality, with the same size windows all the way up. The round heads are also a rather desperate attempt to inject some cheeriness into proceedings, not unlike the suburban living room furnishings of the ministeral suite across the road. Again they suggest the jazzing up of an older building. I love the gouged out chimney breast inside – a practice seen across the city.

      So what about getting into the upper floors?

    • #799473
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      So what about getting into the upper floors?

      No answer to either bell!

      I’m almost certain there was a firm of architects renting these upper floors, or were three or four years ago . . . . can’t remember the name though.

    • #799474
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      No answer to either bell!

      I’m almost certain there was a firm of architects renting these upper floors, or were three or four years ago . . . . can’t remember the name though.

      were DMD urban design in there at one point? (scratches head…trying to recall from my courier days)

    • #799475
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yeah DMD used to be in 9 Poolbeg Street. They did a nice Liberties Coombe Urban Design Framework for the Council in 2004 (one of many such shelf-propping Liberties plans produced over time) when they were at that address. Now they’re in Rathmines – http://www.dmdurban.ie/

      Re 33 Thomas Street, gunter are you sure that that is the remains of a twin-gabled facade? There lots of pictures of old gabled houses in Dublin, but I’ve never seen a picture of a two-bay house with a twin gable.

      The little full-height return to one side of the back elevation indicates the early 18th century date right enough. But another theory for the current appearance of the roof could be that the two parallel pitches were originally a single-pitch, with the middle section taken out to reduce height of the roof, in line with overall moves to Georgianise the building and rid it of “hick” early appearance.

      There are a few other two-bay buildings with these small parallel pitches – Paddy Whelan’s on Cork Street mentioned earlier and one on Lower Exchange Street which was demolished in the ’80s or early ’90s, but I haven’t seen any particular evidence that they aren’t mid/late Georgian roofs.

    • #799476
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sorry, that should be 32 Thomas Street.

    • #799477
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Re 33 Thomas Street, gunter are you sure that that is the remains of a twin-gabled facade? There lots of pictures of old gabled houses in Dublin, but I’ve never seen a picture of a two-bay house with a twin gable.

      Yea. 32, no. 33 is the early Georgian.

      I think we can be sure (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) for several reasons.

      1. Grant it there are no photographs of an unaltered two, or three bay, twin, but we have that etching of the triple on Molesworth Street (Speaker Foster’s house)

      2. Anywhere we’re calling up a ‘twin-Billy’, we’re already seeing ‘Billy’ in the other characteristics, so we’re just trying to put a roof on it.

      3. A standard ‘Billy’ will either have the roof springing from the top floor joists, or from half way up the attic storey walls. the top storey was an ‘attic’ storey.

      4. The ones we’re calling ‘twin’ Billys have no attic storey, the stairs stops at the last full floor.

      5. We know from the photographs/drawings of 30 Jervis St and the two New Row South corner houses (pairs of houses) that ‘close-coupled’ twin Billys existed. The central section of a close-coupled twin-Billy would be identical in appearance and construction to the houses we’re calling twin-Billys.

      6. The twin axial roof profiles required a serious beam running front to back, beams were never used in the Georgianification of other Billy types, but beams were a standard part of the Dutch Billy roof construction.

      7. There wasn’t the same need to rebuild the roofs of twin-Billys to make them conform to Georgian taste, because the lower profiles of the roofs could be hidden effectively with simple hips to the front (32 Thomas St.), or a higher parapet, (25 James St.)

      8. One of the possible rationals for the popularity of twin Billys may have been that they actually required fewer heavy beams (one) than single gabled roof construction (minimum two).

      I’ll try and conjour up a few diagrams to support this when I get a chance.

    • #799478
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Sketch diagrams might have to wait till the weekend.

      Just an up-date on the last surviving Chamber Street house (no. 4), discussed earlier. The pinching in of the top floor windows is strongly suggestive that this house was originally gabled to the street (triangular rather than curvilinear) like the rest of Chamber Street, as photopgraphed repeatedly before incremental demolition throughout the first half of the 20th century accounted for every other original house on the street.


      Photograph taken last year, Almost certainly this house was originally built circa 1700.


      Photograph taken last week.


      Gone is the whole ground floor including this tiny cute vernacular shopfront.

    • #799479
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      6. The twin axial roof profiles required a serious beam running front to back, beams were never used in the Georgianification of other Billy types, but beams were a standard part of the Dutch Billy roof construction.

      7. There wasn’t the same need to rebuild the roofs of twin-Billys to make them conform to Georgian taste, because the lower profiles of the roofs could be hidden effectively with simple hips to the front (32 Thomas St.), or a higher parapet, (25 James St.)

      8. One of the possible rationals for the popularity of twin Billys may have been that they actually required fewer heavy beams (one) than single gabled roof construction (minimum two).

      Ok so the next logical question is: what’s in the roof of No. 32? Does it have the front-to-back beam under the central valley, and/or other early roof structure? Or is it evidently a later Georgian construction?

      On an architectural level, twin gables on a two-bay building wouldn’t have produced much of an effect, would it? …. sorry, just have difficulty bringing myself to envisage this building with twin gables.

      Just to illustrate my suggestion.

      Turning a high single-span roof into two lower parallel spans with hipped fronts like this would, for example, allow you create a perfectly proportioned circa 1800 classical facade – as at No. 32 – without the conspicuous high parapet that gives away many early buildings altered in the Georgian period.

      It’s just an idea. But, hey, the thread would be boring without different views …

    • #799480
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      What page are you on Devin?

      @Devin wrote:

      Ok so the next logical question is: what’s in the roof of No. 32?
      Does it have the front-to-back beam under the central valley, and/or other early roof structure? Or is it evidently a later Georgian construction?

      There nothing in the roof apex of a twin Billy, there’s isn’t an attic storey, that’s the point.

      Yes there is a beam running front to back under the valley on the line of the partition between the two front rooms on the top floor, and it continues over the back room where it beds into the brick arch of the window.

      The pitch of the roof is too shallow to match the rest of the construction detail, so yes, like the Paddy Whelan house on Cork St., the roof joists must have been renewed later, but otherwise the builders re-used the original footings, the side wall plates and the defining beam in the centre, and just replaced the roof, like for like, but with hipped profiles behind a flat parapet to the front.

      The twin roof at 25 James St. shows us that the roof pitch would have been somewhere between 48 and 50 degrees, . . . . unless that doesn’t exist either :rolleyes:

      @Devin wrote:

      On an architectural level, twin gables on a two-bay building wouldn’t have produced much of an effect, would it? …. sorry, just have difficulty bringing myself to envisage this building with twin gables.

      ”Much of an effect” !!! compared with what? . . . Georgian flat parapets as far as the eye can see?

      The sophistication lay in the rhythm, varying the musical notes, as opposed to your Georgian; dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb . . .

      @Devin wrote:


      Just to illustrate my suggestion.

      No Devin, . . . just no!

      It was this, or something very close to this. Don’t let Bord Pleanála off the hook on this!

      This house was a ‘Billy’, the floor plans scream that out. However, there’s no way you can put a single ‘Billy’ roof on this house without, either making it 5 storey, which the stairs evidence doesn’t support, or by reducing the present top storey to an attic storey, which the evidence of the beam and the return profile won’t support. Why try to force it to fit into a standard Billy template, when it makes perfect sense as a twin-Billy?

      I think twins were legion across the city, maybe up to 10% of all Dutch Billys were twins, of one kind or another. If we follow the evidence of roof profiles from rear views and aerial shots, there was another twin-Billy at no. 123, directly opposite this house (demolished in the 60s). Personally I think the Dutch Billy builders were enthralled by the rhythm of the streetscapes they were creating and they literally couldn’t get enough gables in. Twins would also have been something of a status symbol, in that they emulated the grand, four and five bay, multi-gabled houses of the very wealthy.

      @Devin wrote:

      . . . hey, the thread would be boring without different views …

      What do you mean, . . . boring?

    • #799481
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      Yes there is a beam running front to back under the valley on the line of the partition between the two front rooms on the top floor, and it continues over the back room where it beds into the brick arch of the window.

      The pitch of the roof is too shallow to match the rest of the construction detail, so yes, like the Paddy Whelan house on Cork St., the roof joists must have been renewed later, but otherwise the builders re-used the original footings, the side wall plates and the defining beam in the centre, and just replaced the roof, like for like, but with hipped profiles behind a flat parapet to the front.

      Ok, dissenters can be bombarded with technical detail 😉 – but have you actually seen the reused original footings, beam etc.? Be honest. We are low on evidence that double gables existed on modest two-bay houses. Now if you were to produce an old photograph, or even a print, drawing or engraving, showing one, that would go a long distance to persuading me 🙂 (I’m aware of the three gables on a three-bay building in a print of College Green.)

      @gunter wrote:

      The twin roof at 25 James St. shows us that the roof pitch would have been somewhere between 48 and 50 degrees, . . . . unless that doesn’t exist either :rolleyes:

      The James’s Street example is not directly comparable with 32 Thomas Street as its façade was not altered to any particular style and it has a high parapet in front of the small parallel spans (and the façade is three bays).

      @gunter wrote:

      @Devin wrote:

      On an architectural level, twin gables on a two-bay building wouldn’t have produced much of an effect, would it? …. sorry, just have difficulty bringing myself to envisage this building with twin gables.

      ”Much of an effect” !!! compared with what?

      Compared with this:

      @gunter wrote:

      @Devin wrote:

      Just to illustrate my suggestion.

      No Devin, . . . just no!

      You do know that this roof & return combination can be seen all over the city? Benburb Street, Bolton Street, Sth. Frederick Street ..

      @gunter wrote:

      It was this, or something very close to this.

      I just don’t think there’s enough hard precedent evidence for it to be the building you want it to be.

      @gunter wrote:

      Don’t let Bord Pleanála off the hook on this!

      The building is of significant architectural heritage value in its current late-Georgian shop-house character, regardless of possible origin.

      @gunter wrote:

      This house was a ‘Billy’, the floor plans scream that out. However, there’s no way you can put a single ‘Billy’ roof on this house without, either making it 5 storey, which the stairs evidence doesn’t support, or by reducing the present top storey to an attic storey, which the evidence of the beam and the return profile won’t support. Why try to force it to fit into a standard Billy template, when it makes perfect sense as a twin-Billy?

      That looks like a standard early 18th century plan to me, not linked any particular roof form. You haven’t actually said why “it makes perfect sense as a twin Billy” or why “the floor plans scream that out”.

    • #799482
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      What do you mean, . . . boring?

      This is by far my favourite thread on archiseek, and i’ve only read up to the third page. A very entertaining and informative discussion. Heck, i never even new what a Billy was until i started reading this.

    • #799483
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The two New Row South corner houses (pairs of houses). These buildings both have close-coupled twin gables. The Blackpits corner is five bay and has a true attic storey with one opening per gable. The Ward’s Hill corner is closely related, but the window distribution doesn’t really acknowledge the gabled profiles fronting uninhabited attic space above.

      30 Jervis Street is closely related to the Blackpits corner, as may be this house (dim rear view) at 123 Thomas Street, which is directly opposite the disputed house at no. 32.

      Also closely related to the Blackpits corner is this Malton print of a five bay house (or pair of houses) at the corner of South William St. and Wicklow St. which again appears to have had close-coupled twin gables each lined up with one attic storey opening. Beside it is 41 Stephen’s Green, a former twin Billy with uninhabited attic space. The house has a Jervis Street style free distribution of windows at first floor level.

      The famous triple gabled house on Molesworth Street, which like the Ward’s Hill corner house, has essentially ‘floating’ gables somewhat independent of the regular five bay window arrangement below. Beside it is a potentially significant, Malton drawn, house on High Street (second from the corner) which appears to be a standard narrow three bay, reducing down to two bay at the third floor level. Malton has drawn it with a chunky square chimney stack and a central gutter which strongly suggests that the house had a pair of axial roofs behind what looks like an altered flat parapet.

      I would take this High street house to be a close parallel for Mulligan’s (8 Poolbeg St.) and a reasonably close parallel for both 32 Thomas St. and 25 James’s St.

      To me, this short selection of prints and photographs is enough to show us that twin-Billys were a prominent and an important type in the range of gabled houses being built in the heyday of the Dutch Billy movement. To me, it’s not a huge leap of faith to imagine comparable twin gables on any house of the period that has a Billy plan and a roof structure (even if altered) that corresponds to the roof structures of these known (or strongly suspected) twin Billys.

      Of course this won’t work if you’re in a state of Georgian induced denial:)

      @Devin wrote:

      The building is of significant architectural heritage value in its current late-Georgian shop-house character, regardless of possible origin.

      I, don’t agree. I think 32 Thomas Street has much more significance if it’s accepted as a former twin-Billy, which is what I believe it to be. Incidentally that doesn’t mean that I want to ‘restore’ a presumed former appearance, absolutely not in this case.

      @Devin wrote:

      That looks like a standard early 18th century plan to me, not linked to any particular roof form. You haven’t actually said why “it makes perfect sense as a twin Billy” or why “the floor plans scream that out”.

      The floor plans scream out ‘Billy’, or do you not agree with that?, From a design point of view, a two bay facade topped by twin gables would make perfect sense! . . . as it would for the Bachelor’s Walk and the Cork St. twin roofed houses, would it not?

      If you come at it from the point of view that, in the gabled tradition, the roof structures were designed to support the chosen elevational treatment, then I think it becomes easier to see. To a large extent, in the Georgian era, roofs were just designed to keep the rain out.

      @magwea wrote:

      Heck, i never even new what a Billy was until i started reading this.

      . . . and now you’re more confused than ever 🙂

    • #799484
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Excuse the incursion of an amateur, I spotted this in another thread. Could the almost freestanding house on Catherine St. Limerick be a candidate Billy? Just going by the roof profile.
      [ATTACH]9663[/ATTACH]
      Except none of this part of Limerick was developed at the time or was it? That little stretch seems very early compared to the grander Georgians which dominate this area or perhaps they were just more humble Georgian buildings.

    • #799485
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @jimg wrote:

      Could the almost freestanding house on Catherine St. Limerick be a candidate Billy? . . . . except none of this part of Limerick was developed at the time or was it?

      I’m struggling with that question too.

      Here’s another pair on Lower Gerald Griffin Street (not sure of the street numbers) that exhibit some pre-standard-Georgian features;

      On balance, I’d be inclined to plump for ‘transitional’ here, rather than altered ‘Billy’, but I could be talked around;). Returns don’t seem to count in Limerick, they occur even on otherwise standard Georgian houses, but the roof structure, even though half-hipped to front and rear, belongs as much to the ‘Billy’ tradition as it does to the Georgian.

      I wonder if the one on the left is still up for sale? . . . wouldn’t mind a look at the stairs!

    • #799486
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Lower Gerald Griffin Street (Cornwallis Street)

      No. 8, P V Lowry Chemist,

      No. 9, William Penny, wholesale merchant

      With the plaster removed (1930’s), it seems that the brickwork of the flat parapet would differ a little bit with the rest of the façade?

      The walls of the Irishtown would have crossed the street just a hundred yards to the right.

      Photo Limerick Museum

    • #799487
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      To me, this short selection of prints and photographs is enough to show us that twin-Billys were a prominent and an important type in the range of gabled houses being built in the heyday of the Dutch Billy movement. To me, it’s not a huge leap of faith to imagine comparable twin gables on any house of the period that has a Billy plan and a roof structure (even if altered) that corresponds to the roof structures of these known (or strongly suspected) twin Billys.

      Sorry I couldn’t reply re til now.
      Ok, but you know what I’m going to say ………. that elusive two-bay, one-gable-per-bay example …..

      @gunter wrote:

      From a design point of view, a two bay facade topped by twin gables would make perfect sense!

      Well, I’ve said it already but ….. too small to be of any consequence, and they don’t appear in any old prints or photos (and I’m talking about two-bay buildings here and not close-coupled gables on a larger house).

      @gunter wrote:

      The floor plans [of 32 Thomas Street] scream out ‘Billy’, or do you not agree with that?

      No. The roof just seems to be ‘left’ on top of the four-floor building, rather than integrated into the top floor, as they always were (and as you have illustrated in your examples). Am pretty sure it’s some form of later Georgian roof.

      Some more of those small, one-per-bay perpendicular spans here on Nassau Street, below. Can these be read as a former set of gables fronting Nassau Street? I wouldn’t think so. Afaic they’re just one of the many roof arrangements came to in the Georgian period in response to site, party wall division, water draining etc.

      BTW I agree that Dutch Billy was a good streetscape, and arguably renders planned Georgian ‘wall architecture’ dull. But my favourite of all was ‘organic Georgian’ – eg. what can still be seen on Lower Ormond Quay.

    • #799488
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      On my contention that 32 Thomas Street is an altered twin ‘Dutch Billy’:

      @Devin wrote:

      No. The roof just seems to be ‘left’ on top of the four-floor building, rather than integrated into the top floor, as they always were (and as you have illustrated in your examples). Am pretty sure it’s some form of later Georgian roof.

      I’m close to giving up on you Devin!

      I’m guessing that you’ve seen enough Georgian roofs to know that they always sprang from structural walls, even if the, barely structural, stairwell wall had to be pressed into action!

      To answer your earlier question, no, I’ve not been inside this house, but that doesn’t matter, this type of twin axial (perpendicular if you like) roof can’t be constructed except on a supporting beam under the valley, whether I’ve actually seen it in the flesh or not. Georgian domestic building practice didn’t use beams, especially ”some form of later Georgian” building practice.

      The key point about this house (and the other two and three bay former twin Billys I’m claiming) is that the roof structure is illogical, it is ”. . just . . ‘left’ on top of the four floor building . . ”, that is unless you can see it with the twin gables that this roof structure was designed to support!

      The reason that the roof of no. 32 seems to be floating and detached from the house below is the same reason that dictated the design of the close-coupled twin gabled design at New Row South and Jervis St. (examples clearly established by photographic record), the need to maintain circulation headroom on the top floor.

      If you compare the centre section of no. 30 Jervis Street to a sketch reconstruction of 32 Thomas Street, the effect of the double gables is roughly the same!


      the central section of 30 Jervis St. compared to a sketch reconstruction of 32 Thomas St. in a slightly cojectural context.

      @Devin wrote:

      Can these be read as a former set of gables fronting Nassau Street? I wouldn’t think so. Afaic they’re just one of the many roof arrangements came to in the Georgian period in response to site, party wall division, water draining etc.

      Devin, I think it would be dangerous to attempt to draw conclusions from this terrace. It’s a corner site, for a start and the site is shown by Rocque to be occupied by the last house on the east side of South Frederick St. Anything could be going on here, or more likely, nothing. These roofs would not have occured on a standard mid-terrace Georgian house, which is what you seem to be suggesting 32 Thomas St. is, despite the evidence of the central chimney stack/corner fireplaces, the standard ‘Billy’ return and the completely unstandard (for a Georgian house) double roof.


      A high level view of the same block


      The Nassau St. site shown on an extract of Rocques map (1756)

      @Devin wrote:

      BTW I agree that Dutch Billy was a good streetscape, . . . But my favourite of all was ‘organic Georgian’ – eg. what can still be seen on Lower Ormond Quay.

      So now you’re going to claim that the charm of Lower Ormond Quay has something to do with the Georgians :rolleyes:

    • #799489
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve considered all the points you’ve made in this post and in earlier posts but I still don’t think there is enough solid evidence to read twin gabled house into 32 Thomas Street. The early/mid 18th century plan form of the building is undisputed. And I’m not disputing your claim that its central roof valley sits in a similar position at the top of the house to those of the documented New Row and Jervis Street houses (though I think the similarities with those two end there). But after that, I don’t think there’s much to go on. The Georgian period, like every other period, used the wall plate beam. The central valley of the two small spans of the 32 Thomas Street roof is supported by some type of beam, in turn resting on the front wall, spine wall and rear wall. But without actually seeing what’s there, I think it’s just fanciful to consider it’s an early beam associated with the Dutch type gable roof.

      Then there’s the lack of pictorial evidence of twin gables on a two bay house.

      I know you have studied the Dutch Billy style and it’s a great passion of yours, but, given the level of conjecture involved here, I think you should be a little more open to other possibilities for this roof.

    • #799490
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Re: 32 Thomas Street . . . without actually seeing what’s there, I think it’s just fanciful to consider it’s an early beam associated with the Dutch type gable roof.

      Then there’s the lack of pictorial evidence of twin gables on a two bay house.

      . . . . given the level of conjecture involved here, I think you should be a little more open to other possibilities for this roof.

      The fate of this house, and the rest of the Frawleys site, hangs on a Bord Pleanála thread, with the decision due to be finally made today.

      I believe that I’ve interpreted this house correctly and that where there is conjecture it is very well grounded, I believe that the report submitted with the planning application, in stating that ”this building dates from the later 18th century” with no more significance than that, criminally under-values this structure.

      Of course you are entitled to question this and put forward a different interpretation, but you also have to stand that interpretation up, you’ve got to explain what a series of houses with Dutch Billy plans and Dutch Billy features are doing with some kind of totally uncharacteristic supposedly later ‘Georgian’ roofs.

      You have a certain standing in the conservation community, but, like me and probably everyone else who’s been suckled in our formative years on Maurice Craig and Eddie McParland, we’ve been dazzled by the brightness of our Georgian heritage and we’ve seen Dublin through a Georgian lens, it takes a real effort to see through that to the more dimly lit layers beyond. Until very recently I was totally ignorant of the true extent of the Dutch Billy movement outside Dublin, in places like Limerick, Cork, Waterford and Drogheda etc.

      I may have loved these building since the day I read my first Peter Walsh article in the 1970s, but I am not blindly passionate, I’ve posted nothing on this thread that is ”fanciful” or that I haven’t held up to scrutiny.

      It’s the conservation community that needs to wake up and wipe the sleep from it’s eyes. I don’t want to be left picking through the rubble of this house next week, trying to find evidence on which of us was right.

    • #799491
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter, I don’t mind saying that this is my favourite thread here. The Billy thread is the king of threads – it has everything as far as I’m concerned.

      What is wonderful is not only learning about a significant and beautiful Irish architectural movement of which I’ve been completely ignorant but also the excitement that big parts of this huge legacy remain hidden and disguised in our urban landscape if only you’re prepared to look. It spices up every walk through our cities.

      And it’s all so under appreciated! As someone said earlier, have we not done enough extolling the Georgian and Classicist periods of Irish architecture? By the way, where is that person who made the Liberty Hall documentary gone? He was looking for suggestions for further architectural films. I cannot think of a better subject.

      Enough of the gushing. The reason for posting was provoked by your mention of a Peter Walsh article. I presume you have read a bit about the Billy movement over the years. Can you recommend any reading materials or studies on the subject?

    • #799492
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter: on May 15 you agreed that Leask was right about the RWP at 30 Jervis Street, even though [you had been] inclined to doubt it, given [your earlier] convoluted explanation for how these close-coupled twin Billys were designed not to need central drain pipes on the front eleveations. 10 Mill Street, on the opening page of this thread, provides another example of a central outlet. Such ‘wandering’ rainwater goods look gauche to modern eyes used to expecting RWPs at party walls only. I am amazed by the Malton view of High Street you posted on May 29, showing two more examples of central outlets. The one that’s really puzzling me is the ‘narrow’ three-bay example, however. Do you think this is a one-off aberration? Or not? I’m curious to know what you make of it and what it might mean for our understanding of Billys.

    • #799493
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      gunter, I’m not weaned on ‘Maurice Craig and Eddie McParland’. You’re assuming a bit too much.

    • #799494
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      One would wonder regarding the High Street house if an original single gable, with downpipes either side, was later complemented with a third central branch upon a Georgian remodelling of the roof into a double pitch. The middle pipework does look distinctly arbitrary and later in character. But then again, so too does that of the neighbouring pair of houses to the right, which were clearly always single-gabled. So no real insight derived from that theory. It’s odd the central pipe is depicted higher than the others.

      Personally, I’m sitting comfortably on this fence for the moment, but if I had to fall into a pen, it would be the double Billy pit. I think what we have to draw into the debate about the make-up of the alleged double Billy (to keep neutral on this), is the stylistic origin of the format as influenced by the occupants. It is an obvious conclusion to draw that a double Billy would be a high status house, even in spite of a modest width, being built at a time when scale does not appear to have been as important in domestic design as it was in the later 18th century. Comfortable, well-appointed interiors probably took precedence at this early stage.

      I would suggest that to have a double gable at roof level was not only a marker of social status in terms of streetscape impact, but critically it also served to elevate one’s home above that of the lower classes, and in particular of the artisans and craftworkers, who, however more modest in scale, essentially owned the same style of house. To possess a four-storey townhouse with a full height floor on every level, without the artisan-tainted characteristic of a compromised workplace attic storey, and a double gabled roofscape to boot, would surely have been desirable for the upper classes of the early 18th century. It is to all intents and purposes the precursor to the modern Georgian townhouse, just with a mild Billy flourish stuck on top for good measure. It could perhaps be termed an early transitional house. In that context, I do not think it unreasonable that these houses existed, and existed on a fairly widespread scale. It is possible that their relative scarcity compared with standard Billys and the lack of modern-day knowledge about them, stems from their transitional provenance and/or that they were the first and easiest houses to Georgianise as soon as it became worthwhile to do so. This would all help explain the floating character of these double-pile roofs.

      The Nassau Street terrace is an interesting example Devin, but the shallowness of the horizontal plot it occupies clearly made it worthwhile to install short beams from front to back when these buildings were built in the early 19th century.

      Just on the Chamber Street house (words defy what has happened so there’s no point scrambling for them), it is notable that in spite of every relevant department in DCC knowing about the provenance and importance of this house for well over a year, absolutely no attempt has been made to make this building a Protected Structure. Not only were provisions of the National Monuments Act not called into play in respect of such an ancient structure, but not even bog standard Protected Structure procedure, as has been applied to everything from legoland Victorian suburbia to sets of feckin gate piers in the interim, has been enacted. It is a scandal of the highest order and a shocking indictment of how protection is afforded to the built heritage of Dublin city.

    • #799495
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      On twin Billys: It is possible that their relative scarcity compared with standard Billys and the lack of modern-day knowledge about them, stems from their transitional provenance and/or that they were the first and easiest houses to Georgianise as soon as it became worthwhile to do so. This would all help explain the floating character of these double-pile roofs.

      That’s a very good point, It would have been substantially easier to Georgianise a simple twin Billy in comparison to the work required to doctor a standard, single gabled, Billy.

      For example, I strongly suspect that 5, 6 & 7 Bachelor’s Walk were originally, almost identical, twin Billys, based on the age of the houses (early 18th century), their obvious high status as elaborately appointed merchant houses, located on one of the city’s most fashionable parades, the deliberately stepped streetscape, and (critically) on the fact that each house had the twin roof profile. But I also accept that, if these three houses were originally gabled, they were very quickly converted into very convincing flat parapeted ‘Georgian’ houses, even to the point that the top storey windows may have been halved in height to make them conform to the new Georgian pattern.

      @trace wrote:

      On meandering down pipes on Billys:
      . . . 10 Mill Street, on the opening page of this thread, provides another example of a central outlet. . . . . but the one that’s really puzzling me is the ‘narrow’ three-bay example (in the Malton print of High st.) however. Do you think this is a one-off aberration? Or not?

      It’s very difficult to know for sure what was going on with those drain pipes. Many of them look like hollowed out wooden pipes for a start and they’re often shown joining up across the facade when it actually looked simpler to just run a second line vertically to the ground, unless perhaps there was a significant cost saving?

      The central outlets are the most intriguing. In general I’d be inclined to see the presence of a central outlet as pretty conclusive evidence of a twin roof profile and therefore (in my world view) of there originally having been a twin gable. I just can’t see the rational for any other interpretation!

      But we do have to be careful, this is a c.1905 photograph of the west side of Patrick St. with two potential former twin Billys outlined in red and blue respectively. Nothing really to go on, but roof profile (and the matching window spacing) for the house on the left, but the house on the right appears to have one of those characteristicly ‘Billy’ meandering pipes draining the valley between (difficult to make out) twin roofs profiles.

      Unfortunately there’s a slightly earlier photograph of the same streetscape and this time that house (in the centre of the view) doesn’t have the central drain pipe!

      This doesn’t mean that the house wasn’t a twin Billy, it just means we can’t be quite so confident. We just need to find a better picture of the roof.

      Incidentally notice the rear elevations and chunky chimneys of some tasty gabled houses on Francis Street in the distance in the first picture.

      I have some further thoughts on what the central out-lets on some of the grander, five bay, houses like 10 Mill Street might tell us, but I need to iron them out a bit.

      @Devin wrote:

      gunter, I’m not weaned on ‘Maurice Craig and Eddie McParland’. You’re assuming a bit too much.

      Oh come on now, you don’t expect me to believe that?

    • #799496
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      No, I’m really not one of those art history people .. diiferent backround.

      Ok just one last point on this twin gable issue. Or a least to elaborate on a previous point:

      There are ample photographic records of gabled houses in Dublin, sometimes consciously photographed, sometimes not. In these we can see lots of different treatment and varieties of the gable. Previously unpublished photos have appeared recently showing groups of them in odd places like Mercer Street and Bishop Street. And there are plenty of other sources where the houses are visually evident – prints, engravings. directories, billheads etc. Yet in all of this no trace appears of the twin gable to the two- or three-bay terrace house.

      Shaw’s Directory, for example, shows the elevations of hundreds of buildings in the city centre in 1850, including many gabled or altered gabled houses, but nowt a twin gable to be seen. Plenty of Dutch Billys to be seen lurking in the Maltons and other 18th & 19th century topographical prints, but whither the twin gable?

      I have difficulty with the claim that they were “common” or “legion” when it’s not clear they existed at all. We can speculate to great lengths on those existing funny little roofs at Thomas Street, James Street, Cork Street, and others in old photos, but at end of the day, the absence of pictorial proof of even one example of a twin gable on a modest house is the elephant in the room.

      And let’s remember above all that disagreement is good for the forum!!

    • #799497
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      . . . but whither the twin gable?

      I have difficulty with the claim that they were “common” or “legion” when it’s not clear they existed at all. . . . . . the absence of pictorial proof of even one example of a twin gable on a modest house is the elephant in the room.

      OK Devin, but when I get you that picture . . . the clear remains of twin gables on a two bay house . . . where thare isn’t any room for spurious ‘Georgian’ explanations . . . can we have an end to the doubting?

      Is that fair enough?

    • #799498
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yeah, for sure!

      Meanwhile, what about this building on Wood Quay, to the centre right below. Was probably one of those ancient buildings on Pudding Row on Rocque, but swept away for the Civic Offices in the ’60s. But a quare one or what? – the off-centre roof, the two-bay facade of Wyatt windows. Since a whole quay was wiped out there I wonder was there any records taken of the buildings? .. probably not. Pity. Would have been an interesting building.

    • #799499
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Where do you start with Wood Quay?

      If there’s one location in Dublin that encapsulates the history of the whole city, it’s probably Wood Quay. Might need a thread of it’s own!

      But coming back to the twin-Billy debate, lets look at this important photograph of Newmarket, published recently in McCullough’s revised edition of ‘Dublin, an Urban History’.

      The rendered house on the right is one of a pair (the edge of the other just in view) that was also photographed a few years later, from a vantage point further to the left. These houses are clearly a pair of tall, impressive, ‘Billys’ that have had their original curvilinear and pedimented gables reduced, more in the manner of a low grade repair job than in any attempt to conform to changing fashions.

      That an important point, because nothing on this stretch, or indeed in this area of the Liberties in general, was ever really subjected to the ‘Georgian’ make-over that ‘Billys’ in more fashionable districts of the city routinely suffered.

      The centre house is particularly magnificent and was in surprisingly good condition in the 1880s? when this photograph was taken, except that it appears to be missing it’s original roof structure, and/or it’s attic storey.

      Next on the left is the ruinous remains of an interesting, three bay, house with particulaly low floor-to-ceiling heights. We can see from the imprint on the adjoining party wall that this house originally had a cruciform roof, and one of the cross beams can be seen still in place. I suspect that this house may have had more in common with the Chamber St./Weaver Sq. houses, than it did with the full-blown ‘Billy’ and whereas the spacing of the second floor windows appears to have been the same as on the first floor, without any inward pinching, I suspect that it may have had a simple triangular gable. This house certainly looks more modest in design and aspiration than any of it’s neighbours.

      This brings us to the last house on the left.

      This is a, two bay, twin-Billy is it not?

      The two first floor windows appear to be original, but above that, the single window on the second floor is pretty clearly not original. Above this wider, more modern, second floor window, we can see crearly a central rain water outlet, draining to a meandering down-pipe, and corresponding to the location of a central valley gutter. The tiny twin roofs that are just about visable in the photograph would have been almost identical in scale to the surviving roof structures at 25 James’s Street.

      Whereas the high parapet on the James’s Street house could be argued (spuriously in my opinion) to have been (with the roof structure itself) some kind of unusual ‘Georgian’ emsemble, the parapet on this Newmarket house has pretty clearly been modified and, in this case, there really isn’t any scope for speculating on ‘Georgian’ involvement.

      There’s not much attention to fashion here, the roof ridges have been slightly truncated and the tiny areas of hipped roof are apparently merged with a slate capping on top of the brick parapet. This can neither be original, nor logical, except in the context where crumbling pediments have been lopped off and the roof made weather tight with the absolute minimum of investment.


      This is a rough sketch overlay of the top photograph (extended slightly at either end).

      I’ve changed the second floor window arrangement on house A (removing the more modern window) to match the two bay arrangement on the first floor, and given it the twin gables that I believe it would have had. We can argue about the actual detail, but whether we regard it as an impressive form of ‘Billy’ or not, there’s little scope (IMO) for envisaging an alternative elevation on this house.

      I’ve gone with an unadorned triangular ‘Chamber Street’ type gable on house B, but this is a bit of a guess and I don’t know if I’d be totally convinced myself.

      House C looks like the most high status of the group and I’m guessing that the non-appearance of any ‘attic’ element in the house, as photographed, means that it originally had the simple roof structure of a standard classic ‘Billy’ with a single window in a true attic storey, and with a pediment to match the obviously ‘designed’ characteristics of the rest of the facade, somewhat in contract to the more relaxed design of the adjoining houses.

      It could be argued that this house was also a twin ‘Billy’ and that the high parapet hides a pair of small perpendicular roofs (exactly like 25 James’s Street), but that would be idle speculation.

      Houses D & E have that the wider, two bay, gables associated with ‘Billys’ where the top storey is only partially projected up into the roof structure.

      These houses all appear to have had basements and we can see the top of some of the basement windows peeping up above ground in the top photograph. Later on the front areas seem to have been filled in and the ground floors of most of the houses turned into shops. I think these houses were located on the south side of the square towards the Ward’s Hill end and if this is the case, part of the site may not have been significantly redeveloped subsequently. What are the chances that some test excavation could be undertaken to see if any of the basements survive? We are talking about 300 year old structures!

    • #799500
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Nice, gunter. What’s particularly interesting about houses C, D and E in your sketch is just how ‘Dutch’ they are – not due to their Billy tops but to the extent of glazing in the facades, which are not walls with windows punched in them (as with the Georgian tradition) but a series of narrow brick piers. Can you date the changeover from one approach to the other in Dublin houses?

      One other point: house C certainly has the most elaborate hall door and the flappiest tall parapet I’ve ever seen but why do you think it had lost its top floor by the time the photo was taken (as it must have done to accommodate the low central drainpipe)?

    • #799501
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @trace wrote:

      house C: but why do you think it had lost its top floor by the time the photo was taken (as it must have done to accommodate the low central drainpipe)?

      trace, I was tempted to see that low, off-centre, hopper-head and drain pipe as evidence of another ‘twin-Billy’ here, but there is no outlet through the parapet corresponding to a central valley and that drainpipe looks pretty haphazard at best, it’s hard to see it as having been there 15 years, let alone 150, so I don’t think we should put too much store on it.

      The house is early 18th century in every other detail, so it just needs an early 18th century roof profile. Of course, it could still have had a twin perpendicular roof, with the valley draining to the back (like 25 James’s St.) but we’ll only have Devin up in arms again if we try that:)

      The photograph doesn’t give us any clues, no hint of a blocked up window cill in the brickwork of the parapet, but if house ‘C’ had the same type of, half full and half attic, storey as houses D & E (also shown below) I think it’s unlikely that it would have lost this top storey and still remained as substandially complete and occupied as it looks in the photograph. I think it more likely that this house just had a simple roof structure springing from the floor joist level of the third storey. That is also the most elegant of the various ‘Billy’ compositions,I MO, and this has the look of a house that somebody put a bit of effort into getting just right!

      This is the other later photograph of houses D & E, from maybe ten or fifteen years later. House C is gone and replaced by some sort of miniature Victorian warehouse and the path has be re-laid in concrete, by the looks of it. The lamp standard has survived though.


      It’s a pity there isn’t some mark on the party wall to indicate something of the profile of the roof structure of house ‘C’.

      The little interior shot is just labelled ‘Newmarket’, but it would fit very well with being the front left attic storey room of house ‘D’ (the chimney stack being the same).

      The variety in section of roof joists is a good indication of what to look for in a ‘Billy’ period house and contrasts with the standard sawn timber sections that would have been used in standard ‘Georgian’ construction a few decades later. This type of comparitively light construction is totally dependant on a framework of heavy timber beams (unfortunately one is probably just out of view above), for structural stability.

    • #799502
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well this is all just ridiculously good material – to the extent that anything which follows shall inevitably be inane and frivolous. Superb work gunter, and thanks for posting your beautiful draftings; the attention to detail displayed and your complete understanding of the composition of buildings and their elements just leaps off the page. Apologies for the ingratiating tones, but truly to be able to draw like that is such a remarkable skill. I could (and do) look at that image all day.

      There’s so much material to respond to that it’s only managable in bitesize chunks. One point is that house B is quite convincing to my mind, being reminicent of the Landmark Trust’s house on Eustace Street in Temple Bar, if smaller in scale. It dates to the 1720s. The magnificent specimen of a residence at house C would tie in with this date, its doorcase clearly clamped in the era of Thomas Burgh’s doorcases at the Castle of 1712-1717 and those of the former Friends Meeting House across the road from the Landmark Trust house of c. 1730. It’s interesting that these houses would probably have survived in the city centre, but being positioned in Newmarket, they suffered a fate similar to that of the Billies pictures earlier on the thread on Ormond Street around the corner from Chamber Street. They vanished or were decrepit quite early on.

      The double Billy house above is highly convincing!

    • #799503
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      . . . . to be able to draw like that is such a remarkable skill.

      Graham, . . . . you do realize that I just traced over the photograph with a biro . . . on tracing paper!

    • #799504
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      pffft – but a trifling detail.

    • #799505
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I finally got some pics of that Anthony Chearnley view of Waterford:


      This detail is looking towards Meagher’s quay, and the bulk of the Billys are concentrated down this end of the Quays and on the streets leading up from the Quays, Barronstrand Street, George’s street etc. I’ve given the little ‘Fish house’ building a yellow X as a marker.


      A map of Waterford from about the same date as the Chearnley print, circs 1745.

      Although the detail is distant in the Chearnley view, and he’s reverted to a generic portrayal of the houses, his drawing does corroborate the impression given in the earlier Van der Hagen painting of circa 1735, that the streetscape here is dominated by merchant houses with gables, mostly curvilinear gables.


      A detail of the Van der Hagen view, posted earlier by ake.

      It appears that the entire quay front has been rebuilt incrementally over the years, but there is a fascinating sequence of photographs that chart some of this transition.

      I believe that this 1880s photograph shows the two central, grander houses in the Van der Hagen view. The pedimented five bay house on the left corresponds very well with Van der Hagen’s ‘orange’ house, although it’s upper level windows would actually match it’s neighbouring five-bay house better. The central entrance door and small carriage arch on the left matches the ground floor arrangement of both houses in the painting. The right hand five-bay has clearly dissappeared and been replaced by a taller, 19th century, four-bay commercial building, but the plot width corresponds.

      In the next photograph, the low five-bay (and last survivor of the Van der Hagen houses) has been knocked and replaced by a late Victorian hotel (‘The Granville’) complete with a mansard roof and high dormer gables.

      The pointy clock has replaced the ‘Fish House’

      ‘The Granville’ then went up in flames in 1915, gutting both of the building on the site of the two original five-bay houses. Both of the 19th century facades survived largely intact, but the high Victorian structure was rebuilt with a much simpler top storey, in a nice example of history repeating itself.


      as rebuilt in 1916 after the fire.

      And today, the facades are just about still legible under the uniform decorative scheme of the further expanded ‘Granville Hotel’.

    • #799506
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Why am I not surprised by that monster – it is Waterford we’re talking about I suppose. If ever there was a city that’s been troddon on with a spiked boot… (not that the Victorian Granville was much better mind). Interesting to see how the once-dominant classical building loses nearly all sense of grandeur when the frothy yoke next door goes up.

      A nice charting of events there gunter. The parallel with Speaker Foster’s house and adjacent mansion in Dublin is bizarre! The 1880s photograph is of course the most interesting, featuring a building that screams standard Billy truncation.

      One slight element of doubt creeps in though in respect of the window pattern, which I’m sure you’ve noticed. What would explain the skewed positioning to the right of the central bays – indeed the clumping of all three right-hand bays? It almost suggests two houses joined together. However two-bay houses appear almost non-existant elsewhere due to the early origins of this terrace, and the matching size of fenestration suggests a single building, as does the size of the plot relative to the one nest door. Perhaps just a casual attitude to the exterior in order to improve interior circulation, e.g. accommodate a staircase? Indeed the most I look at the picture, the more out of line all the bays appear relative to each other.

    • #799507
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      One slight element of doubt creeps in though in respect of the window pattern, . . . what would explain the skewed positioning to the right of the central bays? . . . perhaps just a casual attitude to the exterior

      I think so, just the same relaxed attitude to window spacing we saw at 30 Jervis Street etc.

      We’re probably drawing too many conclusions from a copy of a copy of a painting, but it is curious that Van der Hagen seems to depict these houses as differing in colour as though they weren’t faced in brick!


      detail of the Van der Hagen painting.

      The broad, low, curvilinear, gables almost look Central European Baroque rather than the Dutch inspired, red-brick, classic Billy we’re used to. All the more curious since you’d imagine a guy with a name like Van der Hagen would have painted them more ‘Dutch’ had they been more ‘Dutch’.


      A rough stab at putting the original gable profile back on, based on a bit of an amalgamation of the features of both the left-hand and the right-hand house.

      Perhaps Waterford, being a port city, did receive architectural influences from central Europe, or perhaps we’re seeing again that struggle we saw earlier with the towering Marrowbone Lane house, the challenge of convincingly capping the wider house with a single curvilinear gable!

      It seems likely that it was this design challenge that led to the popularity of twin and tripple gabled solutions, one of which can be seen nine doors down the quay in the Van der Hagen painting.

      I take all of these larger houses as pretty strong evidence of the ‘top down’, rather than ‘bottom up’ origins of the Dutch Billy movement.

      Had the ‘Dutch Billy’ been a vernacular development of earlier post-medieval gabled houses, it’s very doubtful that the owners of prestigous new mansions, like this, would have felt the need to, one way or another, incorporate curvilinear gables into their facades!

    • #799508
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I don’t know if those Waterford Billys were in any way related to the baroque stucco gabled tradition of central Europe, but this is an example of the type of thing from the market square in the town of Luckau in Brandenburg.

      I made a great deal of the contrast between the emerging picture of ‘Billy’ streetscapes throughout the main Irish urban centres of the first half of the 18th century and the predominantly un-gabled streetscapes of their English counterparts, but naturally the more you probe a subject like this, the more complex becomes the picture.

      We’ve mentioned before that the post-great-fire-of-London series of building regulations present a potentially distorting factor in the evolution of the English streetscape in precisely the decades that we were busily building ‘Billys’, but a further complication arises in trying to interpret just to what extent these specifically London regulations impacted on building practice, and architectural fashion, outside London.

      I came across this very interesting terrace in York recently. Four early Georgian houses on High Petergate in the medieval core of the city close to York Minster.

      Fairly standard English, early Georgian, stuff . . . from the front!


      High Petergate looking east.

      . . . but from the vantage point of the cathedral tower, an intact range of four curved gables can be seen crowning the rear elevation.


      the High Petergate terrace from the tower of the Minster.


      partial rear view.

      It’s clear that the five bay house was double gabled (to the rear) and a similar, but different pair of gables (one out of view) crown the rear facade of the pair of houses to the east. I’d have a suspicion that this six bay front facade may in fact be an extension of another similar, originally five bay, facade and that it may also have originally been a single house.

      Would these houses have been originally gabled to the front also? . . . . I think you’d have to say yes.

      The profiles are not particularly ‘Dutch’, they are of a type usually refered to as ‘Holborne’ or ‘Flemish’ and gables of this type have a long ancestry in the English building tradition. The characteristic S-curve and proportionately small pediment occur frequently on both brick and stone buildings from the Jacobean period.

      Having said that, these houses are clearly related to our ‘Dutch Billys’ and the similarities with say 10 Mill Street can’t be denied.

      I’m guessing that these High Petergate houses date to about 1700, but If we could be absolutely sure of the date of construction, and knew also the approximate date of the change (if there was a change) to a lateral roof with dormers, over-hanging gutter and heavy cornice moulding to the front, we might be better placed to consider again the possibility that the gabled tradition may have been strong throughout Britain at the time that ‘Dutch Billys’ were emerging in Ireland, before being eradicated there even more thoroughly by the even stronger influence of London ‘Georgian’.

      More work to do I think:)

    • #799509
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve had some feedback on the High Petergate houses in York which suggests that the terrace in question was built around 1700, or just before, and somewhat in spite of Pevsner, there may be a growing consensus that these houses were curvilinear gabled to the street also, originally.

      When time permits, I’ll get out the crayons and see if I can have a go at a photo-montage.

      According to my doctorate laden York source, there could also be a spot of revisionism going on in English domestic architectural history circles at the moment which may be beginning to acknowledge that the gabled tradition there may in fact have continued on into the first two or three decades of the 18th century and that the ascendancy of the Georgian style may not have been all plain sailing, initially anyway.

      I sense however that the wheels turn exceedingly slowly in academia, so there may be no immediate prospect of heads appearing above the flat parapet.

      If these High Petergate houses were, as I suspect, originally a pair of five bay houses sporting –10 Mill St.– style twin gables, the existance of this house type in the, presumably shared, building tradition would begin to explain how houses of this type appeared to spring up, fully formed, in the Irish building record at the same time.

      And there must have been something in the general European ether at this time too because in a city like Lubeck which had been ornately gabled in the Hanseatic tradition since about 1400, the only example of a genuinely twin gabled house that I can find dates from 1726, if a plaque on the wall is to be believed.


      The Haase house and courtyard built between 1726 and 1729 on Dr. Julius Leberstrasse.

      To whatever extent we can say that there was a shared building tradition between urban Ireland and provincial England or even further afield to northern Europe, the differences are still startling and in this regard it is the characteristically ‘Dutch’ appearance of the Irish gabled houses that still stands out.

    • #799510
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @gunter wrote:

      This is a, two bay, twin-Billy is it not?

      The two first floor windows appear to be original, but above that, the single window on the second floor is pretty clearly not original. Above this wider, more modern, second floor window, we can see crearly a central rain water outlet, draining to a meandering down-pipe, and corresponding to the location of a central valley gutter. The tiny twin roofs that are just about visable in the photograph would have been almost identical in scale to the surviving roof structures at 25 James’s Street.

      Whereas the high parapet on the James’s Street house could be argued (spuriously in my opinion) to have been (with the roof structure itself) some kind of unusual ‘Georgian’ emsemble, the parapet on this Newmarket house has pretty clearly been modified and, in this case, there really isn’t any scope for speculating on ‘Georgian’ involvement.

      There’s not much attention to fashion here, the roof ridges have been slightly truncated and the tiny areas of hipped roof are apparently merged with a slate capping on top of the brick parapet. This can neither be original, nor logical, except in the context where crumbling pediments have been lopped off and the roof made weather tight with the absolute minimum of investment.


      This is a rough sketch overlay of the top photograph (extended slightly at either end).

      I’ve changed the second floor window arrangement on house A (removing the more modern window) to match the two bay arrangement on the first floor, and given it the twin gables that I believe it would have had. We can argue about the actual detail, but whether we regard it as an impressive form of ‘Billy’ or not, there’s little scope (IMO) for envisaging an alternative elevation on this house.

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you before on this; I’m replying now following the prompt in the Thomas Street thread 🙂

      I’ve studied that photo under the magnifier myself in the publication where it appears, and there may be two parallel roof spans there, which added to the central water outlet might make it a former twin gabled house. But come on, it’s not exactly an open and shut case, is it?

      A facade which goes from two windows on one floor to one window on the next floor as this one does generally points to a gable apex above the single window. Is there any reason in this case to believe the “modern” second floor window ope is not just an earlier ope enlarged? If you look at the photo a different way, the ‘right hand’ span may be central over the house, and the bit of dark matter of the ‘left hand’ span might be something next door. Granted the central water outlet does throw a spanner in the works. Then again that could be just a quirk; note the funny vertical shape of it, apparently running all the way through the parapet. Also the rear portion of visible roof appears distorted and a bit smaller; it might belong to something else – a return or another building. All things considered, more info on the building would IMO be needed before considering it strong evidence of a former twin gable house.

      What might be interesting is is to see the original copy of that photo, assuming it has been cropped slightly in publishing. An extra couple of millimetres of information on the left might make a difference.

    • #799511
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Twin ‘Billys’ were common across Dublin and, like standard, single gabled, ‘Billys’, they were present in all strata of the building record, from the modest townhouse of the tradesman, to the high status mansion of the titled aristocrat, that’s a part of the story of the ‘Dutch Billy’.

      We’ll nail this all down, but it will just take a bit of time.

      Just to return to the English situation for a moment, I posted a while back the opinion that London was almost a gable-free zone in the period that we were awash with new gabled streetscapes.

      That statememt probably still stands up, but the contrast certainly isn’t as stark when the comparison is with provincial England, rather than London, but even in London, the odd Dutch looking gable does turn up.

      This is a detail of a John Kip view over St. James’s Palace dating to about 1714. The house I’ve marked was then ‘The Kingshead Tavern’, or possibly re-named ‘The Crown Tavern’, at Charing Cross, subsequently no. 2 Whitehall, and it does look like a pretty standard ‘Billy’.

      John Kip was Dutch, but he moved to England around 1710 and became the google-earth of his day specializing in these great bird’s eye views.

      There would have been houses at the then village of Charing Cross since medieval times and by the 17th century these would have been replaced by substantial terraced houses adjoining Northumberland House, which was erected in the1630s. I would just guess, on stylistic grounds, that the curvilinear gabled three bay house and it’s one-bay neighbour date to about 1700.

      By the time Canaletto painted Northumberland house in 1752, no. 2 (behind the equestrian statue of Charles I) and no.3 (the one bay to the west) had lost their gables, or been rebuilt entirely in Georgian conformity. Apparently no. 1 had been rebuilt in the 1740s after earlier bungled attempts to excavate deeper basements had caused cracking in the adjoining corner tower of Northumberland House!

      As we’ve said before, trying to draw conclusions on what exactly what was the extent of the gabled tradition in England at this period, and by extension the uniqueness, or otherwise, of the Irish gabled tradition, is frustrated by the shorter lifespan of London houses, the distorting influence of Building Regulations (again principally in London), the tendancy of London property owners to add extra floors, and the fact that London was at the coal face of a Palladian fashion that spread like a virus throughout the built environment of Britain.

    • #799512
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Getty Images ~ Limerick

      Two images from 1937 by Fox Photos/Getty Images/Hulton Archive.

      Broad Street (Irishtown) with house no. 11 to the right. House no. 5 is hidden behind the ESB pole!

      A twin stone / brick gabled cottage, can anyone identify where in Limerick this was?

    • #799513
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Great images again from Limerick. It is extraordinary how much of the streetscape was recorded when you start to pull all the sources together.

      This is an isolated example of a Billy gable on an industrial building, the Granary in Navan.


      This image comes from the perimeter of an 1756 map of the town, republished recently in ”Mapping Meath”

    • #799514
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      A few more examples of gabled houses in England that directly relate to our ‘Dutch Billys’


      This is a detail from a John Cleveley painting of Deptford Docks near Greenwich showing a splendid ‘Dutch’ gable on the house on the right. This house was called ‘The Master Shipwright’s apartment’ and it substantially survives today, lost in a maze of warehouses and unfortunately I couldn’t get access to photograph it. The curvilinear gable, now reduced, masked a close-coupled twin pitched roof and construction of the house has been dated to 1708.


      A low quality copy of a photograph of a dimutive ‘Dutch’ gable on Almshouses in Clapton Pond in Hackney. The almshouses were founded in 1665, but the Dutch gable may be slightly later.


      A series of Dutch gabled houses on The Strand in Topsham. Topsham is on the south coast of Devon on the River Exe near Exeter. Local tradition has it that these houses were built around 1700 by merchants involved with the cotton trade with Holland and that they were built in brick carried from Holland as ballast. One of the houses is actually called ”The William of Orange House”.

      The tendancy, in English architectural history circles, is to see these houses as something of an anachronistic phenomenon stylistically linked to the busy decorative strapwork gables of the sixteenth and earlier seventeenth centuries, rather than as any kind of coherent new, Dutch inspired, phase. They could be right, or it could be that these houses represent the beginnings of a parallel English ‘Dutch Billy’ movement that simply didn’t get off the ground due to the greater influence of the flat parapet fashion emanating from London.

    • #799515
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Gunter,
      Came across an engraving – to my untrained eye – of a DB when browsing through David Dickson’s “Old World Colony – Cork and SW Munster 1630-1830. Page 420 ,It’s the Cork Exchange, engraving Charles Smith 1750.
      Scanned it, but I cannot post the +++++thing, as I keep gettin a “failed to upload” message.
      Do you know about thet building? Need I take a cudgel to the equipment to try again to post?
      Rs
      K.

    • #799516
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      You might find these interesting; Butt’s view of 1760 and the map printed in Smith’s History of 1750

      Kerrybog!

      Is this the one?

      see posting 273

    • #799517
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hi Praxiteles,
      Firstly, many thanks to you for that book recommendation, I bought it way back and have been dipping into it, a masterly historical tome.

      No, looked at that post , not it. The image to which I refer is Fig. 84 on page 420. The note says:
      Fig. 84 Detail from engraving of Cork Exchange, 1750 (engr., Charles Smith, History of Cork [1750], I).
      “The shops in the shadow of the Exchange along North Main Street and in Castle Street had once been the best in the city but by 1750 the drift eastwards was evident. The street sellers here are located outside shops in what were quite old brick houses. Spanish-style bay windows remained popular in the narrow and often dark streets of the older quarters of the town.”

      The gable is Dutch, with twin windows, but the ridgeline does not look right. Will have another go at scanning later.
      Rs
      K.

    • #799518
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This is the one, isn’t it?

      Yea the bay-window houses look a bit Lego Land, but the other gabled houses in the distance behind the Exchange on both sides appear to be nice provincial versions of contemporary Amsterdam ‘bell-tops’, nothing wrong with that.

      It does show us that it wasn’t just the new areas on the city, on the marches to the east, that were presenting ‘Dutch Billy’ streetscapes, but the old medieval city was substantially made-over in similar style at this time, 1740s – 1750s.

    • #799519
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yes, that’s the one. The illus. in the book is cropped from that print, it only shows the LHS, stopping just beyond the two cafflers in the foreground.
      Rs,
      K.

    • #799520
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It must be over a year and a half since we first discussed these houses at 20 & 21 Thomas Street and in the intervening period their condition has deteriorated further with no evidence that anyone is taking their plight seriously.

      No. 20 (in the middle) is a classic ‘Billy’ constructed in standard flaming red brick, with massive corner fireplaces retained on the lower floors. It’s lost it’s original cruciform roof and rear return, but the evidence for both is clearly visible in the brickwork of the party wall to no. 19 (on the right). I doubt if this house is later than about 1720.

      No. 21 (on the left) is also a gabled house and is older than no. 20 by perhaps ten or fifteen years. The front wall of this house has been rebuilt and the exact arrangement of the original windows and gable is currently uncertain, pending the discovery of an early photograph. The rear elevation and characteristic gabled return is intact with the only major modification being the lowering of the pitch of the main roof at some time in the past.

      The windows of both houses have been left wide open for months and the sound of dripping water can be heard coming from no. 21.

      Both houses have full basements and both retain perhaps 80% of their original fabric, including their all important staircases, as far as we know.

      This is a grainy copy of a 1980s photograph of the staircase in no. 20 with it’s characteristic early 18th century ‘barley-suger’ banisters.

      These house were originally acquired by the state as part of the Digital Hub enterprise before being sold by tender about four or five years ago. The lack of any recent planning activity on the site raises the suspicion that the developer who bought the site may never in fact have completed the purchase and therefore these properties may still be in state ownership. Either way, it is completely unacceptable that these two important, approx. 300 year old houses, sandwiched as they are between later houses that have been given the benefit of ‘Protected Structure’ status, are being allowed to quietly rot away on one of the most prominent streets of the city.

    • #799521
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Absolutely. If there is the faintest glimmer of light, it is that efforts are apparently afoot amongst councillors to have the recently enacted Thomas Street & Environs Architectural Conservation Area extended to include the western end of Thomas Street, now the ‘pressures’ of the Manor Park development are no longer as pressing… Very surprised to hear the staircases, or fragments thereof, survive in both houses, gunter. One suspects the source for the 1980s photograph is being deliberately kept in the dark (:)) but it’s a fascinating image.

      The more one delves into the building stock surrounding Leinster House, the more the Duke’s famous proclamation that fashion would follow him to the southside raises a wry eyebrow. Not only did he set up camp in the midst of an existing hill-Billyland, the culturally bereft aristocracy of the mid-18th century merely followed him over like sheep, cooed a little over his classical plans, and then continued to do what they had always done – build their beloved gabled houses!

      A number of gabled houses on Molesworth Street date to the 1740s, while around the corner on Kildare Street things are, as featured before here, a little more confusing. This pair of houses appear to date to the late 1750s – surely far too late for gables.

      We tried to get a close-up view before of the rear of the brick-faced one. Well here it is, courtesy of a bedroom corridor in Buswells and a remarkable lack of security cameras. What a bizarre arrangement.

      Again we can see a phase of early 19th century alteration with the yellow brick gable, as per the rebuilt attic storey to the front and the front doorcase. But does this suggest a gable to the front originally? This is truly a bizarre house. Everything about it is old-fashioned, including those tiny wondow opes and possibly original exposed sash boxes, for a fashionable townhouse bordering on 1760. Likewise the yellow rendered house next door which forms part of Buswell’s (every house within a square kilometre from here appears to incorporate some part of that hotel) has an oddly diminutive staircase which is also antiquated in style for fashionable Kildare Street.

      This robust staircase with Doric balustrade in an early house on Molesworth Street (also part of Buswell’s – shock) is more along the lines of what you’d expect of the time.

      Another building of interest in this complex of curiosities is this little number on Kildare Street, opposite the National Museum, of c. 1745-55 date.

      With a charming double pitch hipped roof, it rivals Topsham’s houses in the cuteness stakes.

      Veeery interesting. Begs the question if it may have been a double-gable house, especially given the parapet is a seemingly clunky tack-on from a later period. Surely exposed hipped roofs would not have been built facing Leinster House, or on any major street for that matter?

      It can be seen here on Rocque’s map of 1756 as the square box beneath the outlined terrace.

    • #799522
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      The more one delves into the building stock surrounding Leinster House, the more the Duke’s famous proclamation that fashion would follow him to the southside raises a wry eyebrow. Not only did he set up camp in the midst of an existing hill-Billyland, the culturally bereft aristocracy of the mid-18th century merely followed him over like sheep, cooed a little over his classical plans, and then continued to do what they had always done – build their beloved gabled houses!

      Great work Graham and that’s an interesting interpretation. I wonder though if there’s a distinction to be made by the 1750s between the aristocracy and the rest of the property owning classes.

      In the early days of Dutch Billys, the aristocracy (and the very wealthy) were at the forefront of the ‘Billy’ movement and it would seem that the merchant classes dutifully followed by the simple expedient of embellishing the functional triangular gable with a curvilinear ‘Dutch’ profile to capture the prevailing mood.

      OK that’s simplistic, but the point is that by the 1750s (and beginning twenty years before that) the introduction of Palladian taste in town house design seems to have remained exclusively an upper class thing. It would be an interesting exercise to try and identify the first modest sized house in Dublin to follow the flat parapet, lateral roof pattern of the palacial scale houses being developed by Luke Gardiner etc.

      As you say, even if these houses on Kildare Street weren’t originally gabled to the street, the fact that they owe more to the ‘Billy’ tradition in plan and building practice, is itself an eloquent testimony to the grip that the ‘Billy’ tradition had on development in Dublin.

      Another house that’s not on Rocque (1756), but has distinct ‘Billy’ attributes is 14 South Leinster Street. This is just around the corner from the grand four bay ‘Georgian’ houses designed by Cassells and others that would have lined the north end of Kildare Street for perhaps fifteen years or more by the time this house was in-filled in a gap in the streetscape facing College Park.


      the site on Rocques map, marked with a red X


      the two bay facade of 14 South Leinster Street with widely spaced windows of similar, rather than diminishing height.


      rear view showing a twin roof profile (hipped) and an apparently contemporary return with arched heads over some of the window opes.


      again the twin roof profile from the front with the ridges coinciding with the placement of the windows.

      This house is enigmatic, it has an odd plan with the staircase starting out in the back corner (on the return side) and then moving into the centre of the plan at the rear, but it has features that more comfortably fit with the ‘Billy’ tradition than the ‘Georgian’. The house hase chunky corner fireplaces with a large stack on the right and a secondary stack serving the upper floors on the left and that roof profile, though of a comparatively shallow pitch, again looks more twin ‘Billy’ tradition than anything that is characteristically ‘Georgian’.

    • #799523
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      If there was a twin Billy “tradition”, that is 😉

      For interested parties, here are the interior photos of 20 & 21 Thomas Street from the 2006 “mini-Manhattan” planning application for Thomas Street & Crane Street – Ref. 4035/06 – which sought their demolition (it was refused, though not for demolition of these buildings; a subsequent 2007 planning application – Ref. 5666/07 – also sought their demolition, but this lapsed as there was no response to an AI request within the required period). Note the freshly ripped out barley-sugar stair balusters in No. 20 in the second group of pictures below. Wouldn’t want anybody to be getting ideas about the value of these buildings, would we? Original staircase in No. 21 possibly still remaining but covered in sheet timber:

      http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/4431/2021thosst1.jpg
      http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/9540/2021thosst2.jpg
      http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/378/2021thosst3.jpg
      http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/8606/2021thosst4.jpg
      http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/5559/2021thosst5.jpg

    • #799524
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      If there was a twin Billy “tradition”, that is

      That’s a relief that some kind of photographic record exists of 20 & 21 Thomas Street, good to know too that all is well in the Flat Parapet Society!

      Here are some recent photographs of no. 25 James’s Street which is lovingly cared for by it’s owners and which gives us a glimpse of how these modest houses appeared in their day.


      no. 25 (on the right) and no. 26 James’s Street . . . . and the staircase in no. 25 with it’s original early 18th century panelling.


      more details of the panelling in the hall and stairs area.

      A view from last year of the rear of no. 25 showing the large return and the twin roofs and gables to the rear, and a view inside one of the two attic spaces showing how many of the roof timbers have been renewed over the years, but also showing that the overall structure is absolutely authentic. This roof structure includes a beam running front to back under the valley gutter which is bedded into the brick arch of the central window to front and rear. Unfortunately the fact that the upper 1/3 of the front facade was completely rebuilt about fifty years ago robs us of the opportunity to investigate the brickwork at the front for indications of earlier gabled profiles, but the roof configuration itself tells us what we need to know.

    • #799525
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Well done for getting inside the building, and especially the roof. But there’s nothing really there in early fabric terms to corroborate the twin gable-front theory, is there?

      @gunter wrote:

      good to know too that all is well in the Flat Parapet Society!

      I love gable-fronted houses. I just think original twin gable fronts is a false analysis of those modest houses with hip-fronted twin roofs perpendicular to the facade. But we’ve been over all that …

    • #799526
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      Note the freshly ripped out barley-sugar stair balusters in No. 20 in the second group of pictures below.

      Criminal. 😡

    • #799527
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There are credible rumours going round at the moment that some in Dublin City Council may be contemplating taking an active interest in these two important houses.


      no. 20 & 21 Thomas Street sandwiched between the old Dublin Corporation Library (a P.S.) at nos. 22-23, on the left, and no 19 (also a protected structure) on the right.

      A rumour may be a pretty slender thread to be hanging three hundred years of ‘Dutch Billy’ heritage on, but I’d settle for it, if it comes with a feckin plumber who can get in there and turn off the dripping water.


      This is a mixture of survey drawing and conjectural reconstruction, intended to give an indication of what these houses originally looked like.

      The actual amount of ‘conjecture’ here is quite low when you get right down to it, and much of that conjecture could be resolved if a thorough exploration of the fabric were possible.

      The 18th century building practice of incorporating existing party walls into new house construction provides a particularly rich vein of information that is often presumed to be lost. Where a party wall was relatively new, and solidly built, it appears to have been the practice for adjoining owners to just lift the end slates and built off the earlier brickwork and around any joist end that might be in the way.

      Where the scale of the new house might have put too much additional loading on an existing party wall, 18th century builders tended to organise the floor plan of the new house to place the new chimney breasts against the existing wall, effectively taking all of the weight of the new construction on the new foundations. There are nice examples of this practice to be seen here in the west walls of both nos.19 and 22 Thomas St. (the old Dublin Corporation Library).

      In one of his few references to Thomas Street, Craig noted in 1949 that ”Halpin’s (no. 20) is a particularly fine early-nineteenth shop-front.” There’s got to be a photograph of that out there somewhere!

    • #799528
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      the corpo taking an interest… and then there is the ongoing Frawleys saga which may come to a happy conclusion … are there new heads in the planning department or have the old ones finally seen sense

    • #799529
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Fabulous work, gunter! Such superb attention to informed detail. My, the impact these houses could have were they to be reinstated! Particularly as a non-uniform pair, side by side, characteristic of so many streets in early 18th century Dublin.

      It’s interesting how the broad pitch of No. 21 manifests itself in the conjectural gable; even depicted as wide as it is, the breadth of the gable is still only the bare minimum it could be. Quite a cumbersome, if charming, shaped house it has to be said. I would almost firmly agree that a curvilinear, open-bedded pedimented gable is the most likely type this house once had. In spite of its overriding squat character, the surprising grandeur of the rooms and extremely broad stairwell are more suggestive of an early grand house than a later modest house with a triangular gable. As such, an ambitious decorative gable is likely to have been the order of the day. No. 20 is of course more textbook. And to get those chimneystacks back too! Oh the rooflines!

      We appear to have another Billy lurking in the ranks over on Stephen Street Lower, opposite the Trinity Capital Hotel.

      The lands of South William Street were under development as early as the late 1670s, so it is fair to say the plots on Stephen Street emerged soon afterwards. All are shown complete on Brooking’s map of 1728. The building in question is the central building below, a newsagents with a Victorian refacing.

      Note how primitively spaced the windows are and the marvellously low shopfront.

      Here it (appears) to be on Rocque’s map of 1756. There is some confusion matching modern-day plots with those depicted by Rocque – there seems to be one missing closer to South William Street, but working back from the Hairy Lemon pub, the below plot is correct, along with a distinctive closet return. The problem is, the existing chimneystack is on the wrong wall for it to be one of the below (probable) matching pair…

      We zoom inside, and what do we encounter only a corner chimneystack 🙂

      The diminutive height of the ground floor of more suggestive of a c. 1700 building than a transitional Georgian of c. 1740 which are fairly commonplace.

      The neighbouring building (left) would appear to fit that bill better. It too has a corner chimneystack to the interior, but is overall more grandly scaled.

      The rears are very interesting, if sadly impossible to accurately make out from this vantage point. Lots of returns pooping in and out. There’s so much going on, my head is wrecked trying to match all of the evidence. Too many discrepancies!

      The distinctive rebuilt chimneystack. The wider street scene also nicely highlights our building as the anomaly it is.

    • #799530
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I’ve cast an eye on that Stephen Street chimney a few times, very hard to know about these two houses, wouldn’t mind a rummage inside though.

      On Rocque’s depiction of returns, we’ve seen this before where he showed them on the wrong side. I’m inclined to think he had no idea we’d be pouring over his maps with a magnifying glass two hundred and fifty years later! Such disgraceful lack of foresight:rolleyes:

      @GrahamH wrote:

      Quite a cumbersome, if charming, shaped house (21 Thomas St.) it has to be said. I would almost firmly agree that a curvilinear, open-bedded pedimented gable is the most likely type this house once had.

      A similar house existed directly opposite The Minot tower on Patrick Street, also a well developed street by the time ‘Dutch Billys’ came along as opposed to a clean slate developed in speculative ‘Billy’ terraces.

      At the moment there is an element of guesswork in this, but I don’t believe that no. 21 is a triangular gabled house, it is, as you say, a moderately prestigious house for it’s date with a broad staircase, ceiling mouldings and a generous basement.

    • #799531
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Yep.

      The elusive James’s Street fountain watercolour by George Petrie below, dating I’d say to c. 1810.

      Very nice gabled houses. The triangular-gabled house to the centre is likely to be the oldest, with its old fashioned roof form and segmental headed windows. The curvilinear-gabled house to the left is grand, but nonetheless typical of its type.

      The large three-bay house has a curious, narrow hipped roof directly behind the parapet, making one wonder if this is a later insertion resulting from the removal of a double gable. And next door again, who knew O’Donnell & Tuomey were around two centuries ago?!

      The terrace today. Dear oh dear.

    • #799532
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      GrahamH: I can never remember, but is the obelisk (the sundial) still there behind the large outbreak of greenery in the ‘triangular’ open space? If it is, why is it hidden away?

    • #799533
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It’s a pity we don’t have more information on the Billys at the Fountain in James’s St. The sundial is still there johnglas, not much else though.

      Went northside for ‘Open House’, got turned away from Luke Gardiner’s old pad on Henrietta Street yesterday with the lame excuse that thirty people had shown up at half two. Must be a piss poor house if you can’t get more than thirty people into it over two hours on a Sunday afternoon.

      Anyway, far more interesting are three former ‘Billys’ down the bottom of the hill at 38 – 40 Bolton Street.

      These three houses appear to be the last survivors of the long terraces of similar three storey Billys that snaked along this old highway leading out of the city to the north. The fact that they don’t look much like ‘Billys’ is likely down to the all pervading influence of the said Luke Gardiner, Edward Lovett Pearse, Nathaniel Clements and their circle of West-Britanicus Palladians.

      The two most interesting of the three houses, it turns out, were recently bought (apparently at 2007 prices) by Dublin City Council, no less. God only knows what they have in mind for them!


      rear of no. 38 with the little tiled roof of the return just visible on the left


      rear of no. 39 again with the small gabled return suggesting the profile of the original steeply pithched cruciform roof.

      How do we know these houses were Billys? We know this by comparing these houses to three almost identical, but less altered, Billys that stood at 47 – 50 Bolton Street, just a few meters away on the other side of the Henrietta Street junction.

      As the caption says, these latter houses were shamefully demolished as recently as 1979 including some virtually intact panelled interiors. In a brief article on the destruction of 18th century Dublin by Kevin B. Nowlan, published the following year (from where these pictures are lifted), Nowlan gives the date of construction of these houses as 1722, virtually contemporary with the first house constructions on Henrietta Street. There’s no point dwelling on the contrasts between Bolton St. and Henrietta St. the scale is too different and Henrietta St. took too long to develop for that comparison to be meaningful, the real contrast is between Henrietta St. and a street like Molesworth St. and we’ll need to do a bit more preparation before enter that battle zone.

      Though no. 40 Bolton Street is the most altered of the three former Billys, even it retains many original features, including it’s corner fireplaces and rear return. The level of the ground floor appears to have been altered, but the original timber beams with their characteristic square notches to carry small square section joists survive in the basement and probably on the upper floors as well.

    • #799534
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      There was an interesting interview with the legendary historian of Dublin, Maurice Craig, in the Irish Times a few days ago in which he reminded us that he was given assurances by the authorities that the importance of the last two surviving unaltered Dutch Billys in Dublin, a pair on the south side of Longford Street, was recognised, and the houses would be protected, only to see them buldozed a short time later.


      two 1940s photographs of the Longford Street ‘billys’ shortly before their demolition.

      We can see again, in the right hand house, the relaxed attitude to window spacing and also the willingness to use more than one width of window on a single facade.

      A while back, I think I posted these two views below of 56 Capel Street where the back is classic ‘Billy’, but the late 19th century front facade betrays no particular evidence of ‘Billy’ origins.


      recent front and rear views of 56 Capel street.

      This is the facade of no. 56 Capel Street as it appears in Shaw’s Dublin Pictorial Directory of 1850 with a window arrangement almost identical to the right hand Longford St. ‘Billy’, even down to the slightly wider dimensions (admittedly not always a reliable level of detail in 19th century prints) of the first floor windows. The single window on the top floor, had this facade survived, would have given us a clear indication that the house was a Georgian masked ‘Billy’. Still, even though the facade was clearly completely bebuilt, post 1850, there’s every reason to believe that the guts of the house remains intact and lest we allow more Dutch Billy heritage to fall through our hands like the Longford Street houses sixty years ago, this house and the many more that we know survive need to be surveyed, assessed, registered and put on the record of protected structures, without any more weasel words and half-baked commitments.

    • #799535
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This is a detail from Jonathan Barker’s map of the proposed development of Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Street.


      apologies for fuzzy image, but gunter gets excited at times like this

      It’s a graphic representation of the west side of Upper Merrion Street, rather than a literal representation, but the interesting thing is that, a substantial part of Upper Merrion Street had been developed by this time, as depicted on another Barker document, the Pemproke Estate Map of 1764. and therefore the depiction of a sprinkling of ‘Billys’ in the streetscape may not be as fanciful as it first appears.


      extract from the pembroke Estate Map of 1764, by Jonathan Barker

      For a start, a 1904 photograph of the same streetscape just before it was demolished for the building of what is now Government Buildings, reveals at least one house [no. 2, second from left] with a suspiciously ‘Billy’ looking window arangement on it’s upper floors.

      Barker produced two versions of the Merrion Square map and the second version, re-published in McColllough’s ‘Urban History of Dublin’, has all the fabulous ‘Billys’ that he had earlier liberally sprinkled throughout the prospective new streetscapes of the future Merrion Square and Fitzwilliam Street expunged, possibly hastilly and under orders from a distressed, up-to date-with-the-Georgian-style conscious client.

      Still, images of a Merrion Square with Dutch Billys has gunter’s Christmas card problem sorted out.:)

      Devin might take note of the existence of twin gabled houses in the mix.

    • #799536
      admin
      Keymaster

      @gunter wrote:

      Devin might take note of the existence of twin gabled houses in the mix.

      Touché ! ( not that its any of my business 😀 )

    • #799537
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Those houses are so adorable! Perhaps Cuteness should be added to the 2000 Act’s list of special interests for Protected Structures. We’d get the whole Billy population in in one sweep.

      Very interesting that Billies were shown so far into the 18th century as a possible format of house type to line the new Merrion Square. It throws much established thinking on Dublin’s architectural evolution into disarray, although perhaps Barker was simply copying the most obvious planning precedent that was closest to hand, namely St. Stephen’s Green just around the corner, while the new architectural order was intended to be quite different. Either way, this tells us gabled houses were still not held as the pariahs that we have been led to believe they were by this point.

      The altered Billy in the Merrion Street photograph is most interesting. It’s not in the least what one would expect, again until one considers the 1660s Green was just around the corner, and Brooking’s map of 1728 already shows early signs of development on Merrion Street. This had grown considerably – if not quite relative to the time passed – by the the 1750s, with multiple plots occupied by then.

      Why do you think there was a fashion for only two windows at first floor level in later Billies, gunter? Something I’ve been pondering. I suppose to have two large, grand windows in a main reception room was probably realised to be more convenient and architecturally coherent than three, while as these houses got bigger, it was also likely to be wiser to have a greater wall-to-window ratio than was previously the case…

    • #799538
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      . . . . this tells us gabled houses were still not held as the pariahs that we have been led to believe they were by this point.

      That is the point exactly.

      We’ve struggled to explain the apparent existence of houses with strong ‘Billy’ characteristics on streets, like Moore Street on the north side and South Leinster Street on the southside, on plots of ground where Rocque shows only open space in 1756, and the answer seems to be that ‘Billys’ remained a respectable architectural option right up into the 1760s.

      This would also help explain why whole terraces of houses that have clear transitional features, like the three storey sections of Eccles Street, were being built in the 1770s, as discussed previously.

      That the adoption of Georgian conformity was no foregone conclusion, and that the gabled tradition was resilient, widespread and deeply rooted, is the picture that I think is emerging here and it shows us that Luke Gardiner and his circle had a battle on their hands to dislodge the Dutch Billy from it’s position as the cornerstone of Dublin street-architecture.

      This also begins to explain what Oliver Grace was at with that famous high level perspective of the Mall in Sackville Street in 1749, commissioned by the said Luke Gardiner. The minimal display of chimneys and the total absence of visible roof structures were not random omissions, they were deliberate acts, essential to provide clarity to what amounted to an architectural manifesto, a declaration of war on the Dutch Billy.

      It’s deeply satisfying to find out that fifteen years later, the outcome of Gardiner’s stylistic crusade, begun with the laying out on Henrietta Street in the1720s, was still somewhat in the balance.

      Ok, you’ll get people who’ll say that Barker was barking mad, or he was barking up the wrong tree, he wasn’t illustrating real streetscapes, and it true that he may not have been anticipating the actual form that these new Pembroke Estate streets might take, but the point is that he was filling up the space on the map with house types that were current in the streetscapes around him, he wasn’t making judgement for, or against, he was just tryng to offer a realistic image of what a new Dublin streetscape might be and it’s surely instructive that from his vantage point in 1764, he apparently concluded that a new Dublin streetscape, without ‘Billys’, was inconceivable.

      That is, until he was got at and told to do it again . . . . without the ‘Billys’.

    • #799539
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      some more random examples of Barker’s Billys


      the text here [upside-down] refers to the proposed new street [Fitzwilliam Street] noting that it was to be ”half a mile in length”. I should have drawn this up and slid it into our unofficial ESB headquarters competition 🙂

      Hey Devin, what does this one remind you of? . . . . apologies again for the out of focus image.

      I might have been a bit rash in taking out that large, single, second floor window in my sketch reconstruction of the Newmarket twin Billy 🙂
      . . . . . you know the one that ‘didn’t exist’

    • #799540
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Aha, but is it a single plot? It is depicted above as being of Mornington or Ely House-esque proportions, where two gables could comfortably be sited. Nonetheless, the few bays say it all about the narrowness of the house. Accurate scaling wasn’t exactly on the top of Barker’s agenda one imagines. Nice to see the cruciform shaped roofs linking up too.

      As for the ESB development, one suspects a terrace of Billies would incur greater spluttering in some heritage quarters than if Barbican II was proposed for the site 😉

      Your analysis sums things up nicely, gunter. Whereas we have yet to prove that Billies continued to be built beyond 1760, or indeed the mid-1750s for that matter, without question the Billy typology is one which the majority appeared to identify with as the standard house type well past the mid-century mark. The emergence of the classical ideal in 18th century domestic architecture was perhaps akin to the phenomenon of Modernist flat-roofed homes in British suburbs of the 1930s – will this take off or not? Clearly the Gardiners and Fitzwilliams were infinitely better at marketing than their successors.

      Indeed, were the desperation of many developers in plonking pitched roofs on top of these often unsaleable houses transferred to 18th century Dublin, we could have a Georgian city with retrofitted gables 🙂

    • #799541
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @GrahamH wrote:

      . . . . but is it a single plot? It is depicted above as being of Mornington or Ely House-esque proportions, where two gables could comfortably be sited. Nonetheless, the few bays say it all about the narrowness of the house. Accurate scaling wasn’t exactly on the top of Barker’s agenda one imagines.

      I understand that point, but most of the houses he depicts are of Mornington House scale, and I’m inclined to take that as a graphic devise, a bit like the three fingers on Disney cartoon characters. Having said that, the scale of the houses do tail off slightly towards the margins of the development and this particular house is located in one of these marginal locations, [equating to Holles Street, more or less].

      I think there is particular credence to the depiction of a, two/three bay, twin Billy in a slightly more marginal location like this, very much like the location of the modest scaled twin Billys that we know [or some of us know] existed on Newmarket, or James St.

      The bigger ‘Billys’ on Barker’s map include a few five bay, single gabled, mansions that equate well with the legendary giant ‘Billy’ on Marrowbone Lane, or the Ward house on Ward’s Hill off Newmarket, which Peter Walsh has speculated may have been a truncated example of something very similar.

    • #799542
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I recently happened upon these ‘twin Dutch Billys’ while on holiday. The relaxed attitude to spacing and also the willingness to use more than one width on a single facade is somewhat confusing. The facade of this full-blown ‘Billy’ on the right may have been rebuilt & shows slightly wider dimensions but the guts of the ‘Billy’ remain intact, the exact arrangement of the original is currently uncertain, at first glance the two appear to be original, but above that, the thatch on the left is pretty clearly not original & seems to have been demonstrably altered, maintaing a more recent platted makeshift style, Nor for that matter is the bejewelled ‘parapit’ on the right ‘Billy’ which shows evidence of shoddy workmanship & poor quality materials. The rear elevation and characteristic hipped return is intact with the only major modification being the lowering of the pitch of the ‘parapet’, but the front facade betrays no particular evidence of the two ‘Billys’ origins which appear to have been altered & interfered with in the relatively recent past. The left single structure has a curious, narrow hipped facade directly below the ‘parapet’, making one wonder if this is a later insertion resulting from the removal of an earlier more sofisticated frame . The curvilinear billy to the right is grand, but nonetheless typical of its type, although there’s obvious signs of severe smoke damage to both, perhaps they should be registered and put on the record of classic ‘Billy’ protected structures.

    • #799543
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Intersting to note the elaborate facade decoration and choice of natural hide materials, clearly indicating an attachment to some form of travelling guild of dubious repute.

    • #799544
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @apelles wrote:


      . . . the curvilinear billy to the right is grand, but nonetheless typical of its type, although there’s obvious signs of severe smoke damage to both,

      🙂

      I could actually copy + paste much of the description of your two pals on this pair of houses at 27 & 28 South Anne Street.

      As we know, numerous Dutch Billys survive in Dublin hidden behind simple Georgian facades and many others survive with both, altered facades, and, their attic storeys completely rebuilt and re-roofed.

      These two houses have undergone a rare hybrid Georgian make-over where just the front half of the attic storey of each house was rebuilt as a full storey, each with a little pyramidal roof, behind a pair of standard looking Georgian facades.

      From the air and from the rear, the original gabled form of the rear half of these houses is still evident even though parts of the roof structures have been truncated and most of the external brickwork has been renewed.

      A good part of the cruciform roof of no. 28 survives and I’ve dotted in the original profile where it, and the roofs on the pair of returns, have been truncated. The roof structure of 27 has been more altered, but I suspect the modern mansard section echoes the survival of a matching cruciform roof to the rear of this house also, probably until comparatively recent times. The large shared central chimney stack survives even though the external brickwork has been renewed.

      Although the external brickwork to the rear of no. 28 has been renewed, that pattern of windows incorporating a narrow pair on the stairwell may well be original and is suggestive of a re-facing of the back wall, rather than a rebuilding. Some of the former ‘Billys’ on Eustace Street incorporate this twin narrow window feature on the half-landings with a separate light facing each flight of the stairs.


      stairs in one of the Eustace St. houses showing the narrow pair of windows on the half-landing.


      The South Anne Street houses on Rocque map of 1756 [with the return at the rear of no. 28 shown on the wrong side], and as depicted on a mid 19th century O.S. map.

    • #799545
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Brilliant stuff appelles! 😀 I’m still wondering how you escaped a alive from snapping.

      Delighted so much survives to the interior of No. 28, gunter. Very interesting about the paired windows to the stairwell – you learn something new every day! The rear wall is almost certainly only a refacing, and yet another example of the extent to which rear facades were refaced in Dublin in the 19th century. It was quite an industry.

      South Anne Street and Duke Street in some respects are the surviving ambassadors for Molesworth Street and all that we lost in its vicinity in the 1970s. They represent that period of transitional estate-building that has so been forgotton or at best underrated in the charting of Dublin’s development. They are of course still undervalued, with some fascinating early houses in a worrying state of decay.

      Oh, and slap on the wrist to Rocque yet again. Tut.

    • #799546
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Returning a moment to our Billy friends on Thomas Street, it is helpful to assess the former occupancy of Nos. 20 and 21 through Thom’s Directory to gain an insight into the origins of the current appearance of these altered houses. Although we can only go back to the 1840s – already half way through the life of the buildings – certain points crop up as likely times for alteration. Incredibly, both of these houses have been unoccupied for over 12 years now – since 1997.

      No. 20, the larger and later of the two houses, and also in the better condition of the two, has survived an intense series of changes of use quite well.

      NUMBER 20

      • 1845 Christopher Glennon, wholesale grocer
      • 1846 – 1848 Maria Green, haberdasher
      • 1849 Vacant
      • 1851 – 1853 Michael Mullen, provision dealer
      • 1854 – 1869 Wm. Brophy, provision dealer
      • 1870 – 1871 James Whelan, corn and flour dealer
      • 1872 – 1914 Thomas Mullen, provision dealer
      • 1915 – 1916 Vacant
      • 1917 – 1923 J. Mulcahy, flour merchant
      • 1924 – 1949 J. J. Halpin, wholesale provision merchant
      • 1950 – 1955 C. Murphy, confectionary
      • 1956 Vacant
      • 1957 – 1966 Ideal Products Ltd, wholesale grocers
      • 1967 – 1968 Vacant
      • 1969 – 1973 P. O’Doherty & Sons, sound engineers, Flat: Leslie Lawlor
      • 1974 Vacant, Flat: Leslie Lawlor
      • 1975 – 1979 Meat Market and Vacant flat
      • 1980 – Vacant
      • 1981 – 1984 Cresta, dry cleaners
      • 1985 The Emmet, dry cleaners
      • 1986 – 1990 Vacant
      • 1991 Super Couriers Ltd, courier services
      • 1992 – 1993 Super Couriers Ltd, courier services, and Presentation Packaging Ltd, packaging
      • 1994 Vacant and Presentation Packaging Ltd, packaging
      • 1995 Vacant
      • 1996 Budget Accommodation
      • 1997 – 2009 Vacant

      It appears the house