Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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These aren’t ‘Billys’, but as transitional houses, they do indicate how deeply rooted the ‘Billy’ tradition was. This pair of houses at nos. 40 & 41 Dorset Street Upper, probably don’t date to much before 1770, but they retain virtually the full ‘Billy’ plan, corner fireplaces gathered into a single giant chimney stack, and returns (without fireplaces) entered off the main back rooms.

no. 40 (on the right) & no. 41 Dorset Street Upper.

If these houses date to circa 1770 (and they closely resemble the terrace around the corner at the south end of Eccles street) their design and layout owes much more to the ‘Billy’ tradition than it does to the ‘modern’ Gergian model that people like Gardiner and Cassells in particular had being introducing all over the city, since the 1730s.

Both houses have been substantially altered, with some changes to the floor levels of no. 41, and the complete rebuilding of the roof, (to a much lower pitch), at no. 40. Both houses were also re-faced in orange brick in, I think it’s called ‘English-garden-wall-bond’, some time in the 19th century.

On the opposite side of the street there’s another row of houses (nos. 78, 79 & 80) with a sprinkling of transitional features, but this time the Georgian influence is considerably stronger.

Corner fireplaces have been banished, but the main roof structure is still perpendicular to the street and the builders have struggled with the challenge of applying a lateral roof to the front where the profile isn’t quite high enough to prevent a small triangle of the main roof peeping up above the ridge.

The lower house on the right (no. 78) is particularly interesting in that it appears to have moulded stone cills to the rear!

rear view of no. 78.

The appearance of a section of curve in the rear gable here is a red herring as it appears to be just a dodgy repair left after the removal of a rear chimney stack from between the windows of the main back rooms.

Definitely looks like moulded stone cills though!

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