Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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They certainly do! Very interesting in such a relatively late transitional house. Dorset Street has some fantastic early stock (which also applies to parts of the Drumcondra Road), as pictured above and with many other examples. I used to get into town along this route until recently and it was a feast for the eyes every morning (being typically lolling unconscious on the bus in the evening), with large chunks of the street dating from the 1730s through to the 1760s, presumably on foot of the Gardiner projects as well as more general ribbon development associated with the expanding Georgian city.

The above delightful pair of transitional (dolls)houses at No. 40 and No. 41 Dorset Street Upper catch the eye immediately. Without question they significantly pre-date the 1770s though – 1760-65 being closer to the mark I’d estimate. Rocque also hints at this: his 1756 City Survey shows this entire side of the street as vacant, as well as the lands of North Frederick Street. The site of the pair of houses is outlined.

Just four years later, his County Survey of 1760 depicts substantial progress in the interim period.

Almost certainly, No. 40 and No. 41 date to c. 1762.

Fully agreed with gunter though that the houses were a little old fashioned for their date; certainly in the city they would have been more generously detailed and more up to date in style. The interiors in particular speak volumes.

The right-hand house at No. 40 underwent substantial reinstatement works in recent years. The entire ground floor of the house was a shop with expansive shopfront, with the basement well covered over. The doorcase had long disappeared, while the upper windows were aluminium casements.

Hence, a (badly detailed) doorcase was reinstated (in the wrong place), the elevated ground floor restored, and railings and steps also put back. Though I haven’t seen the house up close in a while, it’s possible this house is faced in original brick? It had been completed covered in paint, hence the newish appearance. The ground floor window is unfortunately far too large (this was always smaller than the first floor’s), but otherwise the sashes are quite good. Given it’s highly likely the first floor window sills were dropped and the opes enlarged in the late 18th century, it makes sense to put that style back in again (though given the level of works undertaken, it would have been preferable to reinstate the house to its original form).

Here are the paired returns as photographed before the works, built of a distinctive red brick characteristic of early and transitional houses.

Very sadly, this is the scene today. The rear of No. 40 was decimated for a vast residential extension.

Here’s what its fabulous return originally looked like, complete with distinctive (and increasingly rare) round-headed windows, again so typical of early Georgian houses.

A crying shame – it was one of the best preserved in the entire city.

A rare view of an interior of that same Billyesque return forming part of the rear room.

In the case of the floor below, the return was divided off as a separate room. Presumably stud and/or panelled partitions typically formed the divide between these spaces originally.

The ramped staircase balustrade with Doric newel posts. Goodness knows what’s here now (this had been reconstructed to some degree).

And the first floor room (with truly spectacular wallpaper) featuring early timber cornicing and original modest joinery. Cornicing did not survive anywhere else in the house. Corner fireplaces of course proliferated.

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