Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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@gunter wrote:

Devin, sweetie

Oh the wryness of this thread is becoming almost unbearable!! 😀

@gunter wrote:

Nos. 27 + 28 South Anne Street are the Rosetta Stone of 18th century Dublin Houses. We’ve gone through all this before. The Georgianification of these houses was uniquely half-assed, leaving us a remarkable permanent record . . . in two architectural languages.

Some time later in the 18th century, the visible-from-the-street front half of both ‘Billys’ was re-made as a full fourth storey, complete with a flat parapet and a cute little hipped roof over each half house, while [to use Graham’s perfect phrase] – bless their frugal hearts – the hidden back half of both houses was left completely untouched.

These houses are a Godsend, there can be no wriggle room here, no scope for passing these houses off as some kind of ‘transitional’ Georgian type with one of those ”wondrous and manifold Georgian roof profiles” that you’ve somehow managed to convince yourself once existed, as a means of explaining away all the ‘Billy’ features :rolleyes:

These two houses are definitively a pair, they are as close to a mirror image of each other as you can get, the staircases are virtually identical, the ‘newey’ return on no. 28 is completely consistent with being an original feature. OK, it’s lost it’s little gable – big deal.

95% of Dutch Billys in Dublin had a return on the fireplace side and in virtually every case the constructional quirk of a half-brick step-in in the main gable above the roof of the return can be seen. This was to do with the laying out of the foundations with the external wall [of greater thickness] following the outline of the return, and wall between the main back room and the little closet return being of internal wall thickness.

Granted, I bunged on that last post without even checking the OS maps myself or other details to see that the return does go back a long way (nevertheless examples of where the return is not on the same side as the chimney can indeed be cited – not to mention the subsequent Georgian era, where the return switched sides forever).

But, apart from giving you the opportunity to post yet another eulogistic sermon from the church of billy, taking any opportunities for pointscoring, rhetorical swagger and attempts to discredit (wry! wry!), is there anything there that hasn’t been put on earlier?

@gunter wrote:

http://www.tcd.ie/History_of_Art/research/john.php
If this treatise does half what it says on the tin, we could shortly be able to put this whole ”how accurate was Rocque” debate to bed, once and for all.

And show that those two “twin-gabled, dutch billy” houses on Thomas Street and Cork Street which do not appear on Rocque might be the victim of inaccuracy, hopefully (wry alert).

But that’s great news about this project on Rocque – very worthy. A study along those lines was published a year or two ago in the ‘Irish Architectural & Decorative Studies’ journal (perhaps acting as a spur to the current study?). It began a fascinating dissection of the map, but was obviously limited by what you could publish in such a journal. So a major one is very deserving.

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@gunter wrote:


This is a, two bay, twin-Billy is it not?

@Devin wrote:

So is there anything else this central rainwater outlet – on a house in a market square – could have been? Could it have held a beam to hoist goods into the building’s enlarged second-floor window ope, before being reused as a water outlet?

Btw gunter, you haven’t addressed the above, from 3 pages ago.


Temple Bar (now demolished).



All Amsterdam.

……. At your convenience (he said wryly)

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