Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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@newgrange wrote:

Anyone any opinions on the two Parnell Street buildings with single windows on the top floor?
Apologies for the ubiquitous buses.

I think you’re right about the Parnell St. pair.

There isn’t a good vantage point to get a clear shot at the rear, but the stairs/return arrangement and the slightly arched window heads are consistent with gabled houses.

Rocque’s map shows these two as having right hand returns, but they actually have a central ‘paired’ return. The massive central chimney stack is a good indicator that the pair belong to the gabled tradition.

The most facinating thing about this pair though, is the three roofs. Peter Walsh has a note in his ‘Liberties of Dublin’ Dutch Billys in the Liberties article to the effect that there was an ‘ . . example where three gables spanned two houses . . . in Bishop Street’. I can’t find any pictures of the Bishop Street example, but I think this could be another example here on Parnell Street.

The Parnell Street houses are not in great condition, and it’s really important that they get surveyed in detail before anything bad happens to them. If we’re right about these houses being another variation in the ‘Dutch Billy’ repertoire, it shows again, not only how widespread these houses were in Dublin, by the middle of the 18th century, but also, the degree to which the architectural language had developed, either to resolve issues that had emerged, like the troublesome shared valley gutter situation, or just to intensify the rhythm of the gables on the street frontage.

If this was, in fact, a pair of houses designed to form a triple gabled composition, it’s probable that the single windows on the upper floors were more closely lined up with the left and right roof volumes and that some kind of blind window , or panel, was inserted in the central gable. Around this time, or slightly later, something similar was being done with the pair of classical ‘Georgian’ houses on Stephen’s Green, near the College of Surgeons.

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