Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’
On twin Billys: It is possible that their relative scarcity compared with standard Billys and the lack of modern-day knowledge about them, stems from their transitional provenance and/or that they were the first and easiest houses to Georgianise as soon as it became worthwhile to do so. This would all help explain the floating character of these double-pile roofs.
That’s a very good point, It would have been substantially easier to Georgianise a simple twin Billy in comparison to the work required to doctor a standard, single gabled, Billy.
For example, I strongly suspect that 5, 6 & 7 Bachelor’s Walk were originally, almost identical, twin Billys, based on the age of the houses (early 18th century), their obvious high status as elaborately appointed merchant houses, located on one of the city’s most fashionable parades, the deliberately stepped streetscape, and (critically) on the fact that each house had the twin roof profile. But I also accept that, if these three houses were originally gabled, they were very quickly converted into very convincing flat parapeted ‘Georgian’ houses, even to the point that the top storey windows may have been halved in height to make them conform to the new Georgian pattern.
On meandering down pipes on Billys:
. . . 10 Mill Street, on the opening page of this thread, provides another example of a central outlet. . . . . but the one that’s really puzzling me is the ‘narrow’ three-bay example (in the Malton print of High st.) however. Do you think this is a one-off aberration? Or not?
It’s very difficult to know for sure what was going on with those drain pipes. Many of them look like hollowed out wooden pipes for a start and they’re often shown joining up across the facade when it actually looked simpler to just run a second line vertically to the ground, unless perhaps there was a significant cost saving?
The central outlets are the most intriguing. In general I’d be inclined to see the presence of a central outlet as pretty conclusive evidence of a twin roof profile and therefore (in my world view) of there originally having been a twin gable. I just can’t see the rational for any other interpretation!
But we do have to be careful, this is a c.1905 photograph of the west side of Patrick St. with two potential former twin Billys outlined in red and blue respectively. Nothing really to go on, but roof profile (and the matching window spacing) for the house on the left, but the house on the right appears to have one of those characteristicly ‘Billy’ meandering pipes draining the valley between (difficult to make out) twin roofs profiles.
Unfortunately there’s a slightly earlier photograph of the same streetscape and this time that house (in the centre of the view) doesn’t have the central drain pipe!
This doesn’t mean that the house wasn’t a twin Billy, it just means we can’t be quite so confident. We just need to find a better picture of the roof.
Incidentally notice the rear elevations and chunky chimneys of some tasty gabled houses on Francis Street in the distance in the first picture.
I have some further thoughts on what the central out-lets on some of the grander, five bay, houses like 10 Mill Street might tell us, but I need to iron them out a bit.
gunter, I’m not weaned on ‘Maurice Craig and Eddie McParland’. You’re assuming a bit too much.
Oh come on now, you don’t expect me to believe that?