Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Absolutely. If there is the faintest glimmer of light, it is that efforts are apparently afoot amongst councillors to have the recently enacted Thomas Street & Environs Architectural Conservation Area extended to include the western end of Thomas Street, now the ‘pressures’ of the Manor Park development are no longer as pressing… Very surprised to hear the staircases, or fragments thereof, survive in both houses, gunter. One suspects the source for the 1980s photograph is being deliberately kept in the dark (:)) but it’s a fascinating image.

The more one delves into the building stock surrounding Leinster House, the more the Duke’s famous proclamation that fashion would follow him to the southside raises a wry eyebrow. Not only did he set up camp in the midst of an existing hill-Billyland, the culturally bereft aristocracy of the mid-18th century merely followed him over like sheep, cooed a little over his classical plans, and then continued to do what they had always done – build their beloved gabled houses!

A number of gabled houses on Molesworth Street date to the 1740s, while around the corner on Kildare Street things are, as featured before here, a little more confusing. This pair of houses appear to date to the late 1750s – surely far too late for gables.

We tried to get a close-up view before of the rear of the brick-faced one. Well here it is, courtesy of a bedroom corridor in Buswells and a remarkable lack of security cameras. What a bizarre arrangement.

Again we can see a phase of early 19th century alteration with the yellow brick gable, as per the rebuilt attic storey to the front and the front doorcase. But does this suggest a gable to the front originally? This is truly a bizarre house. Everything about it is old-fashioned, including those tiny wondow opes and possibly original exposed sash boxes, for a fashionable townhouse bordering on 1760. Likewise the yellow rendered house next door which forms part of Buswell’s (every house within a square kilometre from here appears to incorporate some part of that hotel) has an oddly diminutive staircase which is also antiquated in style for fashionable Kildare Street.

This robust staircase with Doric balustrade in an early house on Molesworth Street (also part of Buswell’s – shock) is more along the lines of what you’d expect of the time.

Another building of interest in this complex of curiosities is this little number on Kildare Street, opposite the National Museum, of c. 1745-55 date.

With a charming double pitch hipped roof, it rivals Topsham’s houses in the cuteness stakes.

Veeery interesting. Begs the question if it may have been a double-gable house, especially given the parapet is a seemingly clunky tack-on from a later period. Surely exposed hipped roofs would not have been built facing Leinster House, or on any major street for that matter?

It can be seen here on Rocque’s map of 1756 as the square box beneath the outlined terrace.

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