Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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I finally got some pics of that Anthony Chearnley view of Waterford:

This detail is looking towards Meagher’s quay, and the bulk of the Billys are concentrated down this end of the Quays and on the streets leading up from the Quays, Barronstrand Street, George’s street etc. I’ve given the little ‘Fish house’ building a yellow X as a marker.

A map of Waterford from about the same date as the Chearnley print, circs 1745.

Although the detail is distant in the Chearnley view, and he’s reverted to a generic portrayal of the houses, his drawing does corroborate the impression given in the earlier Van der Hagen painting of circa 1735, that the streetscape here is dominated by merchant houses with gables, mostly curvilinear gables.

A detail of the Van der Hagen view, posted earlier by ake.

It appears that the entire quay front has been rebuilt incrementally over the years, but there is a fascinating sequence of photographs that chart some of this transition.

I believe that this 1880s photograph shows the two central, grander houses in the Van der Hagen view. The pedimented five bay house on the left corresponds very well with Van der Hagen’s ‘orange’ house, although it’s upper level windows would actually match it’s neighbouring five-bay house better. The central entrance door and small carriage arch on the left matches the ground floor arrangement of both houses in the painting. The right hand five-bay has clearly dissappeared and been replaced by a taller, 19th century, four-bay commercial building, but the plot width corresponds.

In the next photograph, the low five-bay (and last survivor of the Van der Hagen houses) has been knocked and replaced by a late Victorian hotel (‘The Granville’) complete with a mansard roof and high dormer gables.

The pointy clock has replaced the ‘Fish House’

‘The Granville’ then went up in flames in 1915, gutting both of the building on the site of the two original five-bay houses. Both of the 19th century facades survived largely intact, but the high Victorian structure was rebuilt with a much simpler top storey, in a nice example of history repeating itself.

as rebuilt in 1916 after the fire.

And today, the facades are just about still legible under the uniform decorative scheme of the further expanded ‘Granville Hotel’.

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