Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Sorry, I hadn’t read your reply to the Aungier Street post properly before posting the last reply as I was rushing out at the time. So to reply to your comments on the No. 9 Aungier Street rear gables:

Your starting point seems to be that some alteration has occurred to the gables’ profiles as they appear here, and that they need to be “unravelled”. I presume your reason for this is primarily the fact that the pitch angles of the two individual rear gables are not quite symmetrical, and that the lack of symmetry does not correspond to the other known record of an interlocking double-gabled house at Jervis Street (at least as drawn by Leask), and you suggest it’s the less steep, outer pitches that have most likely been altered; made shallower. Firstly, the sharp steepness of the inner pitches would seem to limit the plausibility of their equivalent on long outer pitches on this type of roof, even allowing for your mooted previously higher ridge (which I can’t see any particular evidence/precedent for). Secondly, what’s visible at the back will of course almost certainly have been masked by curves/decoration at the front, so it’s not particularly implausible that the gables of the house should not have been symmetrical, and thus that the visible rear gables represent what was once at the front.

In short, I wouldn’t be so sure that what we’re seeing here is not a very early, unaltered roof profile. Of course it’s not like Dublin is coming down with comparable examples, or even photographs of now-demolished comparable examples (even the Manor Street & Blackpitts/New Row houses are not readily comparable; the Jervis house is about the extent of it) that we can analyse to help draw conclusions. As in any case like this, conducting of detailed surveying would be what’s needed – inspection of roof timbers & structure, looking for early Dutch construction, opening up of wall plates, establishing a pattern of earlier ope size & position etc. etc. Who knows, maybe the gables are a reconstruction of 1928? But if there’s one thing buildings in Dublin are never short of, it’s variations on a theme, or variations on a quirk. The pair of staggered-plan cruciform roofs on Eustace Street come to mind. So for the moment, 9 Aungier Street’s rear gables remain an evocative and most probably authentic remnant of an early gabled house …….. unless you can convincingly demonstrate otherwise 🙂

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