Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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@gunter wrote:

We haven’t had a good row about twin ‘Billys’ in a while;)

Yeah, it’s been New Years, tsk! Time for another round! 😀

@gunter wrote:


Another look at nos. 119 [Paddy] and no. 120 [Whelan] Cork Street.

Without getting information on the interior, we still can’t provide conclusive evidence that no. 120 was a twin gabled house, but from an examination of the exterior, it is substantially an early 18th century structure, it has a basement, the return is original, if now slightly reduced with a lean-to roof, the brickwork and rear window fragments are consistent with a house of the ‘Billy’ period and, though the pitch of the roofs has been lowered, the twin volume is there for all to see.

I’d be inclined to say Paddy Whelan Cycles (No. 120) is a mid-18th century building with original roof … 1760s, something like that. The things you list there in regard to the basement, return, brickwork and window are not exclusive to an earlier date.

Roofs to the basic Georgian terrace building were double in section. Sometimes you laid it side-to-side, more often you laid it front-to-back. These side-by-side double roofs are just Georgian roofs. It seems to me to have been something that was done for a while in the latter mid-18th century, as it began to become desireable to hide the roof (culminating in Wide Streets Commissioners 5-storey buildings of 1800 era with their shallow and very unoticeable roofs).

Before this “row” ever started, I had thought these roofs on 2-bay houses were funny, almost whimsical … that you would go to the trouble of creating a double roof with such a short distance to span.

Here’s another, now-demolished one at 27 Bachelors Walk (coincedentally also a bike shop) from a 1960s photo, and from Shaw’s Directory, 1850. Very much the same type of thing as 32 Thomas Street and Paddy Whelan: a Georgian building in every way but retaining some features of an earlier period (a probable full-height nib return, and a corner-fireplace plan, as indicated by the appearance of the chimney stack in Shaw’s):

[align=center:l3e12gw6]-o-o-o-[/align:l3e12gw6]

@gunter wrote:

Currently sandwiched between a pair of apartment blocks the present nos. 84 and 85 [Cork Street] don’t look to have much going for them, but no. 84, outlined in red on the map [the numbering system seems to have moved up one since the ’60s] is actually a fascinating little survivor whose only hint of antiquity is the central chunky chimney stack and a extra rain-water outlet between the two front windows.

From the building site opposite we can see that no. 84 originally had a pair of roofs perpendicular to the street, just like no. 120 further east. Only the gables survive what looks like a quite recent alteration to a flat roof.

from the rear, the antiquity and the cuteness of this little vernacular version of a twin gabled house becomes apparent.

That’s a nice find, and god only knows what curiousities were lost on this old road (a) due to the 1960s-2000 road-widening blight and (b) during the noughties while the apartment blocks were being constructed.

Wonder what date it’s from? Probably anywhere in the 18th century, or even a little into the 19th. This was quite a distance out of town at the time.

It may have been twin-gabled, not in a deliberate stylistic way but in a functional, vernacular way. But given that twin gable fronts are nowhere to be seen on small buildings, those rear gables are more likely just the backs of hip-fronted roofs.

Having said that, there is something which looks like the apex of the left hand gable incorporated into the modern parapet – it can be seen in both photos ….. or is it just an imperfection on the parapet, given that the facades of this and the one next door have all the appearance of wholesale rebuilds of the 1960s/’70s rather than old facades remodelled?

The central water outlet may not be that significant. It may only be recent and related to the flat roofs; if the building’s earlier twin roofs were hip-fronted as I suggested, you would of course have a channel at the bottom of the hips (and behind the parapet) for water to flow to the edges and be let out at the division with the building next door in the normal way. This of course would not be possible with a twin gabled roof, and the water from the central channel would be let straight out the back or the front, or both. Thus the central outlet here might be something to get excited about. But if those twin flat waterproof modern roofs with the channel in between are jammed against the parapet, the central hole might have been knocked in the facade when they were put on. So it may be quite recent rather than something that goes back to seventeen-o-splash.

So, is that enough to keep the row going? 😛

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