Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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The very question I was wondering too. It’s also odd that it seems to share its ancient chimneystack with the 19th century rebuild next door. That pair of neighbouring buildings is interesting in how it incorporates a shopfront, upper access door and a carriageway with bollard in its double frontage (as does the Billy in the case of a carriageway). The grandeur of all those ancient chimneystacks – just think of the effect with a rank of gables. What a loss…

Sterling investigation of these two houses, gunter. I think the odd practice of twinning two-bay and three-bay houses at first floor level might be explained by the common practice of a builder building one house for himself and renting the other. Whereas the larger windows of a two-bay would no doubt be desirable in their own way, it is probably safe to assume that a three-bay house would be considered the more high-status of a pair, and would also be that bit more expensive to build.

It would be an interesting exercise to compare the interior fit-out of these and similar houses, to ascertain if this theory extends to the quality of internal decoration.

What is also of note about the above pair is how No. 87 (blue door) was altered quite early on, seemingly 1790-1800, while No. 88 appears to have been tweaked much later, in the latter part of the 19th century, probably c. 1870. The works carried out for continued residential purposes at No. 87 are of a high quality, with well proportioned fenestration, superb modern sashes and probably new railings, in marked contrast to the ungainly, commercially-driven alteration of No. 88, with its rebuilt roof structure, arbitrarily-sized windows, sheet glass sashes and new railings. It would also appear that all of the platbands were removed and stuck back on again with this house, judging by their irregularity and differing levels to No. 87. The use of a ridiculous number of stone elements is a charming characteristic of early masonry in Dublin.

The lintel of the added window looks much newer than the others when you zoom in on it, so it may have been carved from new, but having greater exposure to the elements up high, it may also have come from the original gable as gunter suggests. A nice thought.

Incredibly, No. 87 has had part of its cruciform roof complete gouged out at the front to form a secluded roof terrace overlooking the Green! 😡 On a vaguely related matter, one has to wonder why in all of the Georgianising works to Billies across the city, even in high status areas where considerable investment was often made in alterations, that three Georgian square windows were never put in place at attic level, two of which would be dummies and only the central operational. Surely it would have made sense on a house like No. 87, where there were already three decent floors of accommodation and the attic constituted little more than servants quarters? Even the use of a central attic window and two blind bricked opes would have looked considerably better than stranded clustered windows. Perhaps the level of light admitted would just have been too limited.

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