'Dutch Billys'

Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:20 am

Just had to copy this over from the Limerick thread

Quote from CologneMike

[INDENT] Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The new “Irish Historic Towns Atlas ~ Limerick” reveals some gems. There is an 1845 impression of Nicholas Street (Wilkinson p. 130) which really grabs the imagination. In the selected bibliography, it mentions a book from George Wilkinson called the “Practical Geology and Ancient Architecture of Ireland” (Dublin and London 1845), so I’ll make an educated guess and presume this drawing originally came from it. I wonder when anybody is browsing the next time around the National Library and could confirm this.

This image fuels my support for some form of reconstruction of Dutch-gables as discussed in the previous page.[/INDENT]


Image

This image now takes the prize for best Billy pic so far.

Any advance on eight complete Billys in a row?
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:55 pm

gunter wrote:We haven't had a good row about twin 'Billys' in a while;)
Yeah, it's been New Years, tsk! Time for another round! :-D


gunter wrote:Image Image
Another look at nos. 119 [Paddy] and no. 120 [Whelan] Cork Street.
Image Image
Without getting information on the interior, we still can't provide conclusive evidence that no. 120 was a twin gabled house, but from an examination of the exterior, it is substantially an early 18th century structure, it has a basement, the return is original, if now slightly reduced with a lean-to roof, the brickwork and rear window fragments are consistent with a house of the 'Billy' period and, though the pitch of the roofs has been lowered, the twin volume is there for all to see.
I'd be inclined to say Paddy Whelan Cycles (No. 120) is a mid-18th century building with original roof ... 1760s, something like that. The things you list there in regard to the basement, return, brickwork and window are not exclusive to an earlier date.

Roofs to the basic Georgian terrace building were double in section. Sometimes you laid it side-to-side, more often you laid it front-to-back. These side-by-side double roofs are just Georgian roofs. It seems to me to have been something that was done for a while in the latter mid-18th century, as it began to become desireable to hide the roof (culminating in Wide Streets Commissioners 5-storey buildings of 1800 era with their shallow and very unoticeable roofs).

Before this "row" ever started, I had thought these roofs on 2-bay houses were funny, almost whimsical ... that you would go to the trouble of creating a double roof with such a short distance to span.

Here's another, now-demolished one at 27 Bachelors Walk (coincedentally also a bike shop) from a 1960s photo, and from Shaw's Directory, 1850. Very much the same type of thing as 32 Thomas Street and Paddy Whelan: a Georgian building in every way but retaining some features of an earlier period (a probable full-height nib return, and a corner-fireplace plan, as indicated by the appearance of the chimney stack in Shaw's):

Image

Image



[align=center]-o-o-o-[/align]


gunter wrote:Currently sandwiched between a pair of apartment blocks the present nos. 84 and 85 [Cork Street] don't look to have much going for them, but no. 84, outlined in red on the map [the numbering system seems to have moved up one since the '60s] is actually a fascinating little survivor whose only hint of antiquity is the central chunky chimney stack and a extra rain-water outlet between the two front windows.

Image

From the building site opposite we can see that no. 84 originally had a pair of roofs perpendicular to the street, just like no. 120 further east. Only the gables survive what looks like a quite recent alteration to a flat roof.

Image

from the rear, the antiquity and the cuteness of this little vernacular version of a twin gabled house becomes apparent.



That's a nice find, and god only knows what curiousities were lost on this old road (a) due to the 1960s-2000 road-widening blight and (b) during the noughties while the apartment blocks were being constructed.

Wonder what date it's from? Probably anywhere in the 18th century, or even a little into the 19th. This was quite a distance out of town at the time.

It may have been twin-gabled, not in a deliberate stylistic way but in a functional, vernacular way. But given that twin gable fronts are nowhere to be seen on small buildings, those rear gables are more likely just the backs of hip-fronted roofs.

Having said that, there is something which looks like the apex of the left hand gable incorporated into the modern parapet - it can be seen in both photos ..... or is it just an imperfection on the parapet, given that the facades of this and the one next door have all the appearance of wholesale rebuilds of the 1960s/'70s rather than old facades remodelled?

The central water outlet may not be that significant. It may only be recent and related to the flat roofs; if the building's earlier twin roofs were hip-fronted as I suggested, you would of course have a channel at the bottom of the hips (and behind the parapet) for water to flow to the edges and be let out at the division with the building next door in the normal way. This of course would not be possible with a twin gabled roof, and the water from the central channel would be let straight out the back or the front, or both. Thus the central outlet here might be something to get excited about. But if those twin flat waterproof modern roofs with the channel in between are jammed against the parapet, the central hole might have been knocked in the facade when they were put on. So it may be quite recent rather than something that goes back to seventeen-o-splash.

So, is that enough to keep the row going? :P
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:22 pm

Devin wrote:I'd be inclined to say Paddy Whelan Cycles (No. 120) is a mid-18th century building with original roof ... 1760s, something like that. The things you list there in regard to the basement, return, brickwork and window are not exclusive to an earlier date.


Returns on the chimney side, but without fireplaces, are not Georgian [except in parts of Limerick]. The only way that you can make houses of this type 'Georgian' is to take this whole body of the historical building record and put it in the wrong drawer.

Devin wrote:Roofs to the basic Georgian terrace building were double in section. Sometimes you laid it side-to-side, more often you laid it front-to-back. These side-by-side double roofs are just Georgian roofs.


I've never seen a man clutch at straws the way you do. :)

What kind of insane builder would disregard the layout of the internal walls of the house he'd just built and construct a double roof profile that required an additional structure and twice the lead valley, unless it was for a specific design purpose?

Why is that every time we find one of these double roof structures, the house also has a central corner chimney stack and a rear return on the same side?

Do you not see a pattern here?

Devin wrote:
Before this "row" ever started, I had thought these roofs on 2-bay houses were funny, almost whimsical ... that you would go to the trouble of creating a double roof with such a short distance to span.


Keep running that over in your head.

I'll come back to the Quays example later.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:43 pm

Devin wrote:. . . . wonder what date it's from? [84 Cork Street] Probably anywhere in the 18th century, or even a little into the 19th. This was quite a distance out of town at the time.

It may have been twin-gabled, not in a deliberate stylistic way but in a functional, vernacular way. But given that twin gable fronts are nowhere to be seen on small buildings, those rear gables are more likely just the backs of hip-fronted roofs.


Image

This stretch of Cork Street was developed by 1756, the pair of 'Billys' [outlined in blue] that were demolished in 1961 show up complete with a neat pair of returns, bounded by a laneway to the east and our lad is probably the second or third next house, marked with a red X. Vernacular doesn't preclude 'deliberately stylistic', as we've seen with some of the examples from Limerick, and apparently also Bundoran, according to Dr. Loeber.

Twin gable fronts on small buildings are a definite possiblity, I think this is one.

Image Image

The roofs of no. 84 did run all the way to the front parapet [just like 25 James Street], were not hipped and we can see the mark the left even if the whole front elevation looks like it was later rebuilt and the centre rain-water outlet minserted as new, as you suggest.


Devin wrote:. . . 27 Bachelors Walk . . . . . Very much the same type of thing as 32 Thomas Street and Paddy Whelan:
a Georgian building in every way but retaining some features of an earlier period (a probable full-height nib return, and a corner-fireplace plan, as indicated by the appearance of the chimney stack in Shaw's):


Very much the same kind of thing, yes, . . . . but a Georgian building in every way, eh, no.

Look at a similar collection of evidence for another twin at 17 Arran Quay:

Image

Image

Image

Here both Shaw in 1850 and the 1900s photograph [bottom] show the type of twin roof configuration that we saw also at no. 123 Thomas Street; an adaptation of the cruciform roof.

This form of construction is directly related to the 'Billy' tradition and it is absent from the Georgian record, . . . . when you exclude all of these low, pre-1756, examples that also have 'Billy' returns and central corner chimney stacks, as this house did until it was swept away by Zoe Developments because everyone presumably accepted that it was an early 19th century low-grade-Georgian, as it appeared in the middle photograph just before demolition in the late 80s.

Nine times out of ten . . . [there is evidence for a handfull of twin roofed transitional houses with a built-in identity crisis] . . . twin roofed houses started out as Twin Billys.

They became a Dublin speciality and they were legion across the city.

Unfortunately, these twin gabled houses with their comparatively low roof structures proved to be the easiest 'Billys' to 'Georgianize' when fashion changed and that, I believe, is the only reason that we have difficulty finding conclusive pictorial evidence for their original appearance.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby CologneMike » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:55 pm

Image

Limerick Castle Street ~ Dutch-Gables

The 1842 drawing of the new Thomond Bridge and King Johns Castle (W.F. Wakeman NLI) more or less confirms what the Brocas Print from 1826 showed.

Both reveal similar Dutch-gables on Castle Street with The Parade (Nicholas Street) in the background.

It seems they cleared the houses running alongside the castle to make way for the then new wider bridge and road.

See previous post
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:39 am

gunter wrote:Returns on the chimney side, but without fireplaces, are not Georgian [except in parts of Limerick]. The only way that you can make houses of this type 'Georgian' is to take this whole body of the historical building record and put it in the wrong drawer.
It's you who's putting them in the wrong drawer - give me a moment. 'Transitional' is the best term for these houses - though I don't like that term much myself as it implies a lack of inherent validity, or of simply moving from one perfect moment to another, which is not the case. But it can be used here to convey buildings which are basically Georgian in style but still utilising earlier construction features.


gunter wrote:What kind of insane builder would disregard the layout of the internal walls of the house he'd just built and construct a double roof profile that required an additional structure and twice the lead valley, unless it was for a specific design purpose?
Not at all the case. They were small, light, and probably relatively untroublesome roofs, sitting on top of heavy Georgian walls. I can see how they they were popular for a while. The central valley has three resting points, on the front wall, spine wall and rear wall. It's no surprise a couple still survive today.


gunter wrote:Why is that every time we find one of these double roof structures, the house also has a central corner chimney stack and a rear return on the same side?

Do you not see a pattern here?
Yes, I certainly do - a pattern of buildings from the round about the 1760s which were designed to be "Georgian" in appearance (ie. having the essential cut of a 4-storey building built between 1750 and 1840) but with a construction that had been in use for many decades already, and had that roof. It's not particularly remarkable that a house of this period should have had an old fashioned style of return or plan. There are examples of corner chimney breast construction right up to 1800. It was a cheaper and easier than the more famailiar Georgian chimney breast construction.

I also note that, like 32 Thomas Street, the Paddy Whelan twin roof building does not appear on Rocque in its current format, indicating that it also belongs to the post-1756 drawer. 27 Bachelors Walk, or a previous building on the same site, appears on Rocque. Either way it is the same general time frame as the former two.

I know that those roofs have nothing to do with twin gable fronts. I would bet my life on it. You're not going to step down from your position because your ego won't let you, even if you consider you could be wrong.



gunter wrote:Image

Image

...... as this house did until it was swept away by Zoe Developments because everyone presumably accepted that it was an early 19th century low-grade-Georgian, as it appeared in the middle photograph just before demolition in the late 80s.
That's a rather arrogant assumption. Conservationists, urban historians and others have known the early Georgian house type for decades now and its characteristics and the many clues to its age.

The Arran Quay house looks to be a little earlier than 27 Bachelors Walk or 32 Thomas Street - the Gibbsian doorcase, the higher wall to window ratio in the facade. I'd date it 1740s or '50s, with original roof. Ah, the endless varieties of Georgian roof form.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby jimg » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:01 pm

More interesting and sad stuff in Limerick in this thread in images posted by Tuborg.

I've snipped out an interesting stretch of Broad Street in 1945
[ATTACH]10197[/ATTACH]
It would be nice to see that in higher resolution. The camera angle really amplifies the Billy provenance of the street.

Significant degradation by the 60s and unity is lost:
[ATTACH]10198[/ATTACH]

And the sad stunted state of the streetscape today:
[ATTACH]10199[/ATTACH]
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:58 pm

CologneMike wrote:Image
Very atmospheric print.




Conservationists, urban historians and others have known the early Georgian house type for decades
Sorry, I omitted to include "pre-Georgian" house type in there also ........ perhaps an unconcious reaction to the billy-on-the-brain tendency of the thread :-D


[align=center]-o-o-o-[/align]



Image

On the subject of No. 27 Bachelors Walk, a funny little quirk is that the buildings east of No. 27 up to the laneway Bachelors Way were set back by a few metres about 100 years ago. As can be seen here on the 1847 map (and also on the Shaw's 1850 elevation posted above), buildings east of No. 27 are flush.




Image

Then the setback produced this piece of returning wall to No. 27.




Image

The late-19th century Bachelor Inn on the corner of the laneway had already been built, but it apparently wasn't demolished to create the setback; it was just shaved back. The difference can best be seen here in this 1880s photo from the roof of the Custom House, with 2-and-a-bit bays of the Bachelor Inn visible on the left in the distance.




Image

Whereas this is the situation now - 1-and-a-bit bays visible. Why was the setback created? I suppose to reduce the depth of that step in the street in a prominent location.




Image

As for the historic building at No. 27, it seems to have been demolished around the '70s. It's gone by the time of this '80s aerial photo anyway.




Image

The site remained like that until about 10 years ago, when the current pastiche was built, doubtless to supply more accomodation for the diddley-eye fest that goes on around there. And what a dire pastiche ... its proportions pain me :-( A large amount of wall above the top-floor windows is one thing, but a pitched roof starting at the top of that wall is another :O
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:20 am

Devin wrote:'Transitional' is the best term for these houses - though I don't like that term much myself as it implies a lack of inherent validity, or of simply moving from one perfect moment to another, which is not the case. But it can be used here to convey buildings which are basically Georgian in style but still utilising earlier construction features.


'Transitional' is the right term for houses that attempted to appear, more-or-less, Georgian, but which included in their design and construction significant elements of the previous gabled-house tradition. I think it is appropriate that the term implies an element of artisan head-stratching as builders grappled with the challenges of adapting modern taste to the long established building tradition that they would have been schooled in and comfortable with.

We cannot however use the definition 'Transitional' for houses that have been altered to appear more Georgian, that would lead to a misreading of the record, and it would lead to a roll-call of 'Transitional' house that would out number the gabled houses that they are presumed to represent a transition from, which would be illogical.

We know that the majority of 'Billys' were subsequently altered, we can see that in every photograph where Billys are identifyable. If the pattern of alteration of the houses with the twin roofs matches the pattern of alteration of standard, single gabled, Billys, [which it does] and these houses are located in known Billy streetscapes [which they are], it seems pretty reasonable to me to conclude that these house are likely to have originally been twin gabled.

These are two glimpses of another section of Arran Quay, a bit further to the west.
Image
a circa 1820 view possibly by Petrie. A group of the houses towards the Queen Street junction are shown with their original curvilinear gables.
Image

Shaw again [1850]. In the thirty year interval the gabled houses have all been altered and given flat parapets. The point is that there would have been a period, early in the 18th century, when the virtually the entire streetscape would have appeared in it's original form - totally gabled - and that's the context in which we should examine the evidence for the probable original gabled form of no. 17.

Devin wrote:Not at all the case. They were small, light, and probably relatively untroublesome roofs, sitting on top of heavy Georgian walls. I can see how they they were popular for a while. The central valley has three resting points, on the front wall, spine wall and rear wall. It's no surprise a couple still survive today.


OK, if you're happy to believe that, that's your business.

Devin wrote:That's a rather arrogant assumption. Conservationists, urban historians and others have known the early Georgian [and pre-Georgian] house type for decades now and its characteristics and the many clues to its age.


There's been no comprehensive study of this period at all, that's the problem. The Corpo have been making noises about undertaking a study, but I certainly haven't seen any concrete commitment. IMO, It would be relatively easy to categorise all the various house types in the gabled tradition and pin them up on a chart. This could end a lot of these disputes [maybe], but it would take access for inspection and a lot of detailed survey work.

Personally, I think the cultural payback would be massive.

Devin wrote:I also note that, like 32 Thomas Street, the Paddy Whelan twin roof building does not appear on Rocque in its current format, indicating that it also belongs to the post-1756 drawer.


It's been pointed out again and again that we just can't rely on Rocque for that level of detail, and certainly not in the more crowded built-up areas like Thomas Street. If we get a fairly direct correlation between known structures and their representation on Rocque in a location where it's reasonable to suppose that access was available to rear views etc. then it can be reasonable to draw dating inference from their appearance on the map.

Devin wrote:I know that those roofs have nothing to do with twin gable fronts. I would bet my life on it.


:)
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:46 am

How do you explain this Devin?

gunter wrote:Image


You didn't get a shot of the rear of the adjoining house's parapet, gunter, did you? (though it does look rebuilt from what little can be seen above)

Great research on Bachelors Walk, Devin. Almost certainly the quay was half-heartedly pulled back to more smoothly grade the streetline into the earlier Wide Streets Commission section, which had been more ambitiously carved out but left unresolved - while hoping the result would be something that nobody would notice. Until now. Glad those curious facades of ill-proportioned fenestration have been clarified - they always bug me.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby Devin » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:17 pm

gunter wrote:'Transitional' is the right term for houses that attempted to appear, more-or-less, Georgian, but which included in their design and construction significant elements of the previous gabled-house tradition. I think it is appropriate that the term implies an element of artisan head-stratching as builders grappled with the challenges of adapting modern taste to the long established building tradition that they would have been schooled in and comfortable with.
Fine, I would agree with that.


gunter wrote:We cannot however use the definition 'Transitional' for houses that have been altered to appear more Georgian
But the houses in question are not altered. They're originals. You're refusing to concede that even though two of the prime examples at Thomas Street and Cork Street do not appear on Rocque, 1756 (in addition to other evidence against the existence of twin gables on standard-plot houses).


gunter wrote:It's been pointed out again and again that we just can't rely on Rocque for that level of detail, and certainly not in the more crowded built-up areas like Thomas Street
Rocque it seems is inaccurate when he doesn't suit your reading of the building :rolleyes:

From the Irish Times, April 16 2002:


DUBLIN DIG SHOWS ACCURACY OF MAP OF 17TH CENTURY

The pinpoint accuracy of a map of Dublin made nearly 250 years ago has been uncannily confirmed by a major archaeological dig in the Smithfield area of the city.

"What we've uncovered here is Rocque's Map of 1756," said Ms Margaret Gowen, whose company is carrying out the excavation on behalf of the developers of a €300 million scheme planned for the west side of Smithfield.

John Rocque's accuracy in drawing the Dublin of his day is evident from the basements and foundations of 17th-century houses and from the now-uncovered street plan of the area from the time when Smithfield was a cattle market.

Among the numerous finds on the site was a human skeleton uncovered in one of the back yards - probably someone who had been murdered, according to Ms Gowen. The excavation is expected to continue for several months.

A team of 30 archaeologists headed by Mr Franc Myles, had just found an Elizabethan coin on the four-acre site yesterday when it was toured by the Taoiseach, Mr Ahern. "It's wonderful to see so much of our past," he remarked.

But not for long. After the site has been fully recorded, these remnants of old Dublin will be demolished to make way for a double-basement car park as part of what the owners claim will be inner city's "largest ever mixed-use development".

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2002/0416/1017357766644.html



(Nice to see our then leader Bertie rent-a-gormless-quote Ahern featured :) )



gunter wrote:These are two glimpses of another section of Arran Quay, a bit further to the west.
Image
a circa 1820 view possibly by Petrie. A group of the houses towards the Queen Street junction are shown with their original curvilinear gables.
Image
Shaw again [1850]. In the thirty year interval the gabled houses have all been altered and given flat parapets.
That's nice. It's nice to find a probable original view of a drawn group of altered but obviously early houses. But by no means everything on Shaw goes back to a gable. The next 15 or so houses east of this group up to St. Paul's Church are dominated by mid- and late-Georgian new-builds.


gunter wrote:..... comprehensive study of this period ...... IMO, It would be relatively easy to categorise all the various house types in the gabled tradition
There would have to be a consesus of course ]-o-o-o-[/align]


GrahamH wrote:How do you explain this Devin?
Was discussed - see 3rd & 4th paragraph of post 427 following pics of the building.


GrahamH wrote:Almost certainly the quay was half-heartedly pulled back to more smoothly grade the streetline into the earlier Wide Streets Commission section
It's interesting that little bits of urban pruning were still being undertaken at this time .... someone carrying the torch for the defunct Wide Streets Commsissioners. Wonder if the other buildings in the group were rebuilt altogether or just shaved back like the Bachelor Inn? In the '80s aerial photo their plans are weirdly shallow if they were rebuilt .. then again maybe there wasn't room to move back. So they might be Edwardian front walls with a shallow 18th century shell behind ...
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:04 am

Devin wrote:. . . . but the houses in question are not altered. They're originals.


Of course these houses were altered. You can't have 19th century brickwork on the front and early-to-mid 18th century brickwork on the back [as at 32 Thomas St., 120 Cork St. and, it looks like, 17 Arran Quay too] without acknowledging that the houses were altered.

Devin wrote:You're refusing to concede that even though two of the prime examples at Thomas Street and Cork Street do not appear on Rocque, 1756


That's actually bullshit.

Rocque shows both streetscapes fully developed at the locations corresponding to those two houses. Continuing to argue that they're not the same houses on the basis of discrepancies in Rocque's detail, when we've already seen hundreds of examples of discrepancies in exactly the same level of detail, is becoming worrying.

Look at Weavers Square:

Image
as depicted by Rocque

Image
as depicted by the Ordnance Survey

Image
as existed in reality.

Actually I believe that someone did alter that third house, but just the fenestration on the front, they didn't come along after Rocque had gone down the street and rebuild the house square to match the other two :rolleyes:

Devin wrote:[INDENT]From the Irish Times, April 16 2002:[/INDENT]


You're quoting from a newspaper article with the heading:

DUBLIN DIG SHOWS ACCURACY OF MAP OF 17TH CENTURY

. . . . . when refering to a map dated 1756?

Margaret Gowen, Franc Myles, . . . . you know these people are archaeologist don't you?

Devin wrote:Look what happened when you assumed 42 Manor Street was a twin gabled house - conservation architects working on the building conclusively demonstrated that the parapet had always been flat.


????

. . . . you might want to read back on that that one.

Now that you mention it, weren't we promised photographs of the lunette windows that 'conclusively demonstrated that the parapet had always been flat' . . . but with curly bits at the ends?
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:59 am

Quote from CologneMike

[INDENT]
The new “Irish Historic Towns Atlas ~ Limerick” . . . it mentions a book from George Wilkinson called the “Practical Geology and Ancient Architecture of Ireland” (Dublin and London 1845), [/INDENT]


Image

Got a look at that Historic Town Atlas for Limerick - absolutely brilliant :)

Well done to all concerned.

Spot on there CologneMike with the George Wilkinson reference. This is what he had to say about 'Billys' in 1845:

[INDENT]''On the decline of the solid structures which denoted the Tudor and Elizabethan styles of architecture, the lighter and more common-place structures of the present day succeeded, and the use of bricks became common: their very general use, however, appears to have originated from the extensive intercourse with Dutch towns, which occassioned the introduction of the style of architecture and brick construction peculiar to that country, bricks having been extensively imported into Ireland. The following woodcut [above] represents a view of a street in Limerick, is an illustration of the kind of buildings which became common in the early part of the eighteenth century: the date of the figures in the upper part of these structures is 1735, which was, doubtless, the period of their erection. Buildings of this character are to be met with in most of the towns in Ireland; and we may infer that the style was generally approved and imitated, many stone structures having had their street-fronts taken down and rebuilt after this fashion. After this period the use of bricks became common; the picturesque buildings, however, with which they were introduced, ceased to be imitated, and in the increase of towns and repair of buildings a different fashion was followed: to this chiefly may be attributed the neglect and want of appreciation of the pleasing forms of many of these old structures, which are now found only in the old, and consequently less fashionable, part of the town, and occupied by persons who fail to maintain them in that order which formerly belonged to them.''[/INDENT]

Nice to hear first hand accounts once in a while
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:42 am

These are just a couple of images of no. 55 Abbey Street, as was. The site is now occupied by a particularly nasty '80s brown brick office block opposite the old Adelphi Cinema.

Image

I think this view comes from around the time of the Eucharistic Congress, hence the bunting. Despite the rendering of the facade and the flat parapet, the window arrangement looks completely untouched and shows again that 'Billy' preference for a pair of much wider windows at first floor level, with a standard three bay arrangement above a string course at 2nd floor level and, in this case, a pair of much smaller windows tight together in what would have been the focal point of a curvilinear gable, see the very low rain water outlets on both sides.

It's not clear what's happened to the roof, it's ridge should be peeping up above the parapet, perhaps it had been replaced completely by this time.

Also altered is the ground floor where a a full shopfront has been inserted. There's a very interesting drawing in the Georgian Society Records [Vol. II] from c. 1910 of an elegant timber doorcase which is identified as no. 55 Middle Abbey St.

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Timber doorcases, which were standard and greatly varied in England at this time, are very rare in Dublin, but that could be because they've all vanished, not necessarilly because they weren't there in the first place.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:55 pm

gunter wrote:[IMG]

Vernacular doesn't preclude 'deliberately stylistic', as we've seen with some of the examples from Limerick, and apparently also Bundoran, according to Dr. Loeber.



gunter's been dispensing bad information again, that should have read Buncrana, not Bundoran, I was getting my Buns crossed.

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For anyone who thinks that the cute little twin gables on the back of 84 Cork Street [above], would never have been reflected by a similar, or even more elaborate, vernacular gabled treatment of the front facade, take a look at the Buncrana examples.

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Ok there's no twin gables here, but we're in the same zone, small, two storey, vernacular versions of the tall, brick-built, terraced house tradition that was becoming omnipresent on the main streets of the major urban centres.

Some Donegal local histories suggest that these four houses were 17th century, and brick built, but that's highly unlikely. Buncrana was laid out by a landlord called Vaughan ,who built himself 'Buncrana Castle', about 1717, and that would seem to be a more probable kind of date. There seems to have been some brick used in the detailing, but the houses look to be rubble stone built from the uneveness of the surfaces and the thickness of the gables.

One account says the terrace, which was on the Main Street, was called 'MountTilly' and it was demolished in the thirties.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby apelles » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:59 pm

Tiz a pity MountTilly was demolished Gunter, I've been told where you see them type of stairs to the outside of a house they held céilís there. Dutch gables must of had an have influence & given rise to some of the more unusual or unique buildings dotted around the country. .this is in the Main Street, Coolaney, Co. Sligo
I was told it was once the Town Hall, you can see the join where the decorative barge has been added at a later stage.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby apelles » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:11 pm

Some interesting aerial video & still shots of the city center from 1950. .It starts a bit foggy but the quality improves as it goes. .not sure if there's anything here you haven't already seen or know about. . click on the image below to view.


<h2>AERIAL SHOTS OF IRELAND</h2><iframe src="http://www.britishpathe.com/embed.php?archive=59436" name="pathe_flash_embed" width="352" height="264" scrolling="no" frameborder="1"><p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p></iframe>

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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:44 pm

apelles wrote:Dutch gables must of had an have influence & given rise to some of the more unusual or unique buildings dotted around the country. .this is in the Main Street, Coolaney, Co. Sligo
I was told it was once the Town Hall, you can see the join where the decorative barge has been added at a later stage.


Most of those shallow gabled examples with the multiple curves are very unlikely to have much antiquity behind them, but having said that, unless it's mounted on an actual concrete garage, as many are, it could be worth checking out.

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This example in Carrick-on-Suir, and noted by Craig, is the kind of 20th century remodelling that might well reflect an earlier 18th century gabled treatment.

Propably the best surviving example of the multiple-curved gable is the market house in Kinsale.

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There's a bit of double curvature going on with this example from a side street in Waterford, but it's not entirely clear whether the profile hadn't been altered.

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Most 'Billys' in provincial locations appeared to conform to the standard profile, like this isolated example from North Main Street, Youghal.

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Apologies for the brutal quality of the image which comes from one of those murky stereo plates from the late 19th century. The gabled shop which had the name C. Colbert Grocer on the sign board is gone now and the site is occupied by a modern block
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:54 pm

On that 'Billy' in Youghal, it's unlikely that it was originally an isolated example. North Main Street was a medieval street and like the main streets of most Irish medieval towns, urban renewal would have been a constant force, especially in the periods of stability and prosperity such as the period that followed the hasty departure of James II from nearby Kinsale in July 1690.

There's one of those late medieval urban tower houses [Tynre's Castle] further north along the street, but pretty much everything else in the photograph appears to be a 19th century rebuild, so if the Colbert shop was previously part of a gabled streetscape, that evidence is probably lost.

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The fine Queen Anne style 'Red House', on the opposite side of the street to Tynte's Castle, is said to have been designed by the Dutch architect, Leuventhan, in 1703, so it wouldn't be a huge stretch of the imagination to suppose that Dutch expertise was at hand in Youghal to help guide the emerging trend in street-architecture down the currently fashionable Dutch-gabled path.

There are a couple of 18th century views of Youghal, but they don't give us a whole lot of detail.

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a painting of Youghal from about 1720

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an engraving of Youghal by Anthony Chearnley for Smyth's History of Cork published in 1748.

We remember the Chearnley view of Cork city as a total Billyfest, but this view of Youghal, by contrast, looks suspiciously like little more than a copy of the earlier painting with a bit of up-dated that may, or may not, have been largely conjectural. The Main Street would have been behind the buildings visible on the quayside and we don't even see their rooftops unfortunately.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby apelles » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:32 am

gunter wrote:
Any advance on eight complete Billys in a row?


oops!. . sorry gunter. .for a minute there I thought you meant eight complete 'Bastards' in a row.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:35 am

Ah I think it's fair to say the Chearnley view is a relatively accurate depiction, gunter. There are considerable changes and imposed detail compared with the former. It is probably unlikely that decorative gables would feature on random maritime buildings serving the adjacent waterfront, being more suited to street architecture as you say. Beautiful use of light as always.

Great material earlier on Middle Abbey Street. Sadly that house at No. 55 probably stood right up until the 1980s, when the current hideously brooding, dark brick office building was erected on the site :(

Nonetheless there is a considerable amount of transitional stock remaining on Middle Abbey Street, if much of it characteristically difficult to pinpoint in date. I couldn't find the pictures that I took of these houses in the pelting rain before Christmas, so had to re-snap them today. This pair of houses - No. 51 left and No. 50 right - appear to date to the early and mid-18th century respectively.

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No. 51 retains exposed sash boxes to the windows, possibly original, including at basement level. The sashes are all modern.

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The doorcase probably dates to around 1800, as with the railings, suggestive of an early date prompting a remodelling. The door looks as if it may be the original.

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The elegant, simple top-and-sides panelled window reveals to the interior make one wonder if the first floor room is entirely panelled up there.

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John Rocque depicts this plot on his map as having a house with no return on it. This tallies with what we have now. And, wow, what a rear it has!

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Surely a gabled house?! From what can be made out from the air, it unfortunately doesn't appear to retain an original roof.

The rear of the adjacent house at No. 50 is clearly of slightly later, mid 18th century date. But it does have a return characteristic of a transitional house, and as depicted by Rocque.

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The front of the house (right) is more expressly of mid-18th century date, with larger and more generously spaced windows and a pedimented doorcase.

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(not my bike, honest)

The interior has been gutted, and continues to be. As I was standing there, a chap went in the front door of what is now 'Dublin 1 Apartments', self-catering units run by the Abbey Hotel a couple of doors down. In so doing, he exposed giant two-over-two PVC sash windows lying in the hall, wrapped in plastic and waiting to be installed in the front elevation (given the rear has already been fitted out). A Protected Structure indeed.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:41 am

Another charmer of an early house is located a little further down at No. 48. This delightful narrow house appears to be the same sliver of a building depicted by Rocque. Probably of c. 1740 date, the squat windows at attic level are a curious feature, reminiscent of the suspect transitional houses on Kildare Street. All windows retain exposed sash boxes, including at basement level.

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The beautiful original doorcase with primitive early fanlight. One of the best doors in Dublin.

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Corner chimneystacks appear to feature in this house (and as seen from above), and while the roof form seen here suggests transitional, it just may be modern. There seems to be a vacant flat expanse between the two pitches in aerial views.

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Sadly this house is also gutted.

One happy consequence of having to retake the photographs today is a little revelation in one of the mews buildings along Lotts. It came about as a result of taking this wide shot to the rear of the earlier house at No. 50 (the other gutted one). Anything stand out?

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The joys of desktop analysis. We have no less than a very early 18th century window, complete with chunky glazing bars and square joints, clinging on for dear life to what appears to be an equally early 18th century wall! Even the glass appears to be the original crowns!

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The timbers embedded in the wall pretty much confirm this was a substantial inhabited structure of some kind, though the joist holes are more than likely later. Alas, the position of the wall does not tally with Rocque’s depiction of the plot – there is however a long building on the adjacent plot on his map so perhaps it is that.

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This could well be the earliest window in this entire quarter of the city.

There are other curious goings-on around here, including the remnants of this stone mews building.

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And this, the very last mews building in near-pristine original condition on Lotts.

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There are other early houses further down the street closer to O'Connell Street which could do with a good root around inside.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:51 am

Very interesting stuff there Graham from Middle Abbey Street.

In addition to 'transitional' houses, it seems pretty clear that actual card-carrying 'Georgians' show up early on Middle Abbey Street [like the adjoining pair at nos. 46 and 47], but not early enough to be the initial phase of development of plots along a streetscape that was probably fully developed by the 1730s.

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two views of 46 + 47 Middle Abbey St., the second one through the filthy window of Arnotts

This pair are pretty cut + dried Georgians, their only nod to the Billy tradition is the continued use of corner fireplaces, probably internal panelling and the flush mounted windows, but the tripartite layout with a central section accommodating a top-lit stairwell with each segment of the structure roofed seperately and laterally is totally Georgian.

The wider-than-square proportions of the top floor windows on this pair of houses and also seen at nos. 48 and 50 probably suggest a slightly over enthusiastic interpretation of the new design patterns emerging on nearby Sackville Mall. The widely splayed brick arching on these houses in also unusual for Dublin.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby gunter » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:41 pm

One more point on that 'Billy' in Youghal.

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A single 'Dutch Billy' stands on the corner of North Main Street and a side street [I think called O'Rahilly Street?] running down to the harbour

This stereo glass negative dates to about the 1880s and within about 20 years the 'Billy' had been butchered and is virtually unrecognisable in this second view looking the other way, south towards the Clock Gate.

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the 'Billy' is the two-bay house on the corner of the side street on the left

Just to clarify that point about Chearnley.

If, in the pictures, the rest of the streetscape looked 18th century, you'd be inclined to say that the 'Billy' was probably an isolated example, especially since Chearnley's view doesn't give any indication of the presence of curvilinear gables in the town, but since the the early photographs seem to show a streetscape dominated by 19th century elevations [or rebuilds], the suspician remains that the earlier 18th century streetscape may well have emulated our solitary 'Billy'.

The fact that Chearnley view doesn't capture this is either down to the remote vantage point, from which no part of the Main Street is visible, or down to the fact that he may have been working off a copy of that that earlier view, augmented by some notes on the expansion of the town to the south in particular. The way that the little spit of land is depicted in the foreground and the coincidence of a man standing at a mast [pole/] at the front of a ferry boat in both pictures would be grounds for believing that, in the Chearnley view, we may not be looking at an actual sketch made on site in 1747.
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Re: 'Dutch Billys'

Postby GrahamH » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:08 am

Fair enough points. The continued presence of the pyramidal structure on the quayside is also suspect. Still, the detailed level of updating or correction (or perhaps simplification) of buildings, such as reducing four bays to three and the addition of dormers, suggests an attempt to clarify matters in the Chearnley view, regardless of when it was painted or what it was influenced by. Oddly though, there seems to be a row of red brick curvilinear gabled houses in the first view that are demolished in the second...

Is that stunted, classicised Billy still on North Main Street today?

Returning to the pair of formerly gabled houses on South Anne Street in Dublin profiled by gunter earlier in the thread, the small building next door to them also appears to be of a similar early date. It's the stunted third building in from the corner.

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Distinctly unremarkable, it exhibits an almost industrial quality typical of those grim remodellings of the first third of the 20th century.

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Look a little closer and wowza!, we have an early 18th century door.

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What a charmer.

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Bless their frugal hearts eh.

The brickwork is tuck pointed underneath all that paint. The moulded string course appears to be granite, which if the case, and original, would make it one of the few to survive anywhere in the city.

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The rear of the house features apparent remnants of exposed and flush sash boxes.

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The interior seems encouragingly coherent from what can be observed from outside. There may well be early fixtures in there.


And for what it's worth, another look at the fabulous rear of the adjacent two Billies with their massive central chimneystack and paired returns that Rocque got so badly wrong.

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Just a delight to see.

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