What an enchanting place Irishtown is on a summer's evening; Bath Street in particular. The relative absence of traffic and people serves to enhance its valley of the squinting windows quality: one of those rare breeds in Ireland, so commonplace in England, of eerie intimate village streets, packed to the rafters like a 1950s provisions store with a mixumgatherum of vernacular buildings, so small and relatively undisturbed as to make it feel like trespass, if not wholesale cultural vandalism, to enter into their closeted world.
Happily, this suspicion has its benefits when one wishes to find out about something, as it's only a matter of time before a resident will come to their door if one proves sufficiently suspicious loitering about outside with a camera.
This incredible house which gunter referenced the doorcase of earlier is clearly of mid-18th century date, with a vicarage-style makeover on top conducted in the 19th century.
The owner tended to concur with this, though only after the weirdo outside suggested it, so not necessarily set in stone. They were however aware that the house was well over 200 years old. The similar pretty house facing the laneway to the side was formerly the mews of this house, so this alone tells us significant modification was carried out on an earlier house.
An interesting feature was the significant drop from pavement level into the house itself. One wonders if the ground floor had been excavated in the 19th century, as the ceiling heights were surprisingly high. What internal joinery I could make out was of similar date.
The couple also reported on significant drilling noise - described as 'piling' - coming from the unfortunate houses gunter has charted further up the street. They contended the houses were being refurbished rather than demolished, but weren't sure.
The front room of the left-hand house with corner fireplace is beyond tiny, There is almost without doubt the remains of an earlier structure in this pair of buildings. Below alone suggests that the hallway of this house was a later insertion, consuming part of the once cube-like room.
It is obscene what has been permitted in respect of these houses - amongst the top five most significant houses in the village. As noted earlier, if the entire village was to be whacked by order of importance, these would be amongst the final buildings left standing.
A decision akin to this type of thinking.
The house next door in Bath Street is also undergoing 'refurbishment'.
The barracks is a very handsome building. Clearly the grandest and most modern ever built in the town at that time, it must have had as much, if not more, impact as the new Garda Station today, with sophisticated hints of the Wide Streets Commission's work.
Is there a chipper anywhere in Irishtown? I was not amused.