Reply To: ‘Dutch Billys’

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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.

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