Re: Re: Brick

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Now he says it, after the horse has bolted! I’ll try 😉

This magnificent pile of a yellow brick terrace out in Clontarf was one of the earliest speculative housing developments to be built in the seaside village. It always catches the eye when passing along the main road from behind the greenery of its own private park. The severe Grecian entrance portal of the first house is particularly striking.

The terrace stands as an interesting monument to the first tentative steps to turn Clontarf into the Rathmines of the northside: built in a late Georgian style, faced in fashionable yellow brick, and set back from the road shielded by its own park, all in a manner characteristic of contemporaneous southside housing schemes of the 1830s and 1840s.

The cornice and chimneys are so handsome – the closest Dublin ever got to Regency architecture.

Beautiful use of yellow brick.

Not a scrap of tuck pointing at this late stage.

What makes this terrace of particular interest, however, is that it also serves as a good physcial indicator of how ultimately unsuccessful Clontarf was as a residential location until the housing boom of the 1860s. There are notably no other terraces of yellow brick houses in Clontarf characteristic of the early Victorian period, with only a handful of typical seaside rendered houses in the village proper as one would expect of a small conurbation. The majority of Victorian housing in Clontarf dates from the 1860s onwards, built in machine-made red brick, and with a particular explosion in development from the 1890s onwards (as seen below for example).

If one looks closely at the yellow brick terrace, it is noticeable that it is not symmetrical, with the right-hand projecting terminating house missing as it exists on the left, as if it was never completed as intended.

Also oddly, there is only one entrance into what should be a dual-entrance development.

Look a little closer still, and it all becomes apparent.

Either this 1840s developer experienced a cash flow problem similar to his modern-day colleagues, or there just wasn’t the demand for such large houses in second-rate Clontarf at this early stage.

Alternatively, gunter’s ancestors sabotaged the scheme to halt the spawning of yellow brick housing on the northside.

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