Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Those houses are so adorable! Perhaps Cuteness should be added to the 2000 Act’s list of special interests for Protected Structures. We’d get the whole Billy population in in one sweep.

Very interesting that Billies were shown so far into the 18th century as a possible format of house type to line the new Merrion Square. It throws much established thinking on Dublin’s architectural evolution into disarray, although perhaps Barker was simply copying the most obvious planning precedent that was closest to hand, namely St. Stephen’s Green just around the corner, while the new architectural order was intended to be quite different. Either way, this tells us gabled houses were still not held as the pariahs that we have been led to believe they were by this point.

The altered Billy in the Merrion Street photograph is most interesting. It’s not in the least what one would expect, again until one considers the 1660s Green was just around the corner, and Brooking’s map of 1728 already shows early signs of development on Merrion Street. This had grown considerably – if not quite relative to the time passed – by the the 1750s, with multiple plots occupied by then.

Why do you think there was a fashion for only two windows at first floor level in later Billies, gunter? Something I’ve been pondering. I suppose to have two large, grand windows in a main reception room was probably realised to be more convenient and architecturally coherent than three, while as these houses got bigger, it was also likely to be wiser to have a greater wall-to-window ratio than was previously the case…

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