Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Given the potential parallels between 9 Aungier St., the lost house at 30 Jervis St. and the surviving house at 42 Manor St. it could be useful to try and nail down what little we do know.

@JKMA wrote:

However, during opening up works at that level, it became clear due to the discovery of two differing construction methods for brickwork namely a skin of brick over rubble bonded through to a rough brick internal wall versus solid masonry at the parapet corners, that the central section of the parapet was of a piece with the rest of the facade below while the parapet ends were considerably later in date. In other words it became obvious that the central section of the parapet had always been flat.

Not sure what you’re getting at there! even in a double gabled scenario the central section of what became the flat parapet would always have been there! Any central semi-circular dip between twin pediments would have occured just above this level, and we know that the extremities of the flat parapet had been rebuilt, the brickwork was clearly more recent than that on the rest of the facade and may have been renewed at the time that most of the window surrounds were renewed.

In any case, all 18th century external walls were constructed of a half-brick deep outed skin of presentable brickwork, an inner face constructed in brick of lesser quality and anything from half-a-brick to one-brick thickness of pretty rough ‘fill’ in between, that’s standard practice and to be expected. Surviving photographs of ‘Billys’ show that the gables were universally reduced to just one brick thickness, above the line of the slates. This wouldn’t have been a big problem for curvilinear gables because the profile of the gable never deviated too far from the line of the roof to leave much area of vunerable wall exposed. In the remodelling of 42 Manor Street, the larger (and more vunerable) areas of wall required to create the large flat parapet may have suggested to the builders that more robust, solid, brick-and-a-half, thick construction might be judicious here

@JKMA wrote:

Brick Re-Pointing:
We found no evidence of tuck pointing on the cleaned down original front facade, however we did find evidence of flush jointing in lime and soft sand with a simple scribed horizontal line along the centre of the joint.

I can’t accept that. The variation in brick joint widths is far too great for simple flush lime pointing to ever have been acceptable at this time, especially on a high status house like this. Looking again at the ‘before’ photographs, was there not clear evidence of standard tuck pointing (maybe Graham will say it was ‘wigging’) to the left of the entrance door (bottow of photograph)?

@JKMA wrote:

The front doorcase we are now convinced is not contemporary with the building and we suspect it may date from no earlier than the police barracks useage.

That’s a very unexpected finding, can you elaborate on that?

Re: 9 Aungier Street:

@Devin wrote:

Your starting point seems to be that some alteration has occurred to the gables’ profiles as they appear here . . .
. . . . 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).

Devin, there’s no possibility that the roofs of no. 9 were built concurrently to two different angles of pitch! they just didn’t do that. All I was suggesting is that evidence of the original roof profiles could perhaps be discovered, if it’s looked for.

The steeper inner pitch is about 53 degrees which is about right for an early gabled house and assuming that the valley rests on an original beem, I don’t see any reason not to accept that this part of the roof constrution is original, or certainly very early. The outer pitch is less than 45 degrees (looks about 42 degrees) which is outside original gable house range. Therefore the only conclusion that makes any sense is that the roof profile was altered, and that’s not exactly breaking news since we know that the whole front half of the house was re-roofed with a shallow pitched transverse roof!

I think there is some logic to both of the alternative scenarios I suggested:

If the roof ridges are original, then reducing the pitch of the outer sections of roof would have made sense in that it would have gained extra attic storey floor area without incurring great expense.

If it was the ridge levels that have been lowered and the springing is actually original, then conformity to prevailing taste for flat parapets would have been achieved, again without the expense of completely rebuilding the roof.

I can see some rational in either case, but to take the discussion further, I think we just need more information.

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