Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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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!

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