Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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@Devin wrote:

. . . . wonder what date it’s from? [84 Cork Street] 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.

This stretch of Cork Street was developed by 1756, the pair of ‘Billys’ [outlined in blue] that were demolished in 1961 show up complete with a neat pair of returns, bounded by a laneway to the east and our lad is probably the second or third next house, marked with a red X. Vernacular doesn’t preclude ‘deliberately stylistic’, as we’ve seen with some of the examples from Limerick, and apparently also Bundoran, according to Dr. Loeber.

Twin gable fronts on small buildings are a definite possiblity, I think this is one.

The roofs of no. 84 did run all the way to the front parapet [just like 25 James Street], were not hipped and we can see the mark the left even if the whole front elevation looks like it was later rebuilt and the centre rain-water outlet minserted as new, as you suggest.

@Devin wrote:

. . . 27 Bachelors Walk . . . . . 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):

Very much the same kind of thing, yes, . . . . but a Georgian building in every way, eh, no.

Look at a similar collection of evidence for another twin at 17 Arran Quay:

Here both Shaw in 1850 and the 1900s photograph [bottom] show the type of twin roof configuration that we saw also at no. 123 Thomas Street; an adaptation of the cruciform roof.

This form of construction is directly related to the ‘Billy’ tradition and it is absent from the Georgian record, . . . . when you exclude all of these low, pre-1756, examples that also have ‘Billy’ returns and central corner chimney stacks, as this house did until it was swept away by Zoe Developments because everyone presumably accepted that it was an early 19th century low-grade-Georgian, as it appeared in the middle photograph just before demolition in the late 80s.

Nine times out of ten . . . [there is evidence for a handfull of twin roofed transitional houses with a built-in identity crisis] . . . twin roofed houses started out as Twin Billys.

They became a Dublin speciality and they were legion across the city.

Unfortunately, these twin gabled houses with their comparatively low roof structures proved to be the easiest ‘Billys’ to ‘Georgianize’ when fashion changed and that, I believe, is the only reason that we have difficulty finding conclusive pictorial evidence for their original appearance.

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