Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

Home Forums Ireland ‘Dutch Billys’ Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’


@Devin wrote:

Sorry, I said I’d stay away, but I couldn’t resist. Blanket protection for the featureless shells?!? ROFL ….. You’re not getting out enough …. too many fantasy postings on archiseek.

Leave your imaginary twin gablets and reconstructed streets behind and put together a list of the half dozen or so early buildings in the city that could credibly and deservedly be afforded some legislative protection.

I’ve done my best to suppress the memory of three years spent in archaeology, but you’re forcing me to drag up some dimly remembered lessons.

First lesson: You can construct a reasonably accurate picture of the past from seemingly sparse evidence, if your thinking is clear and the evaluation of the evidence is sound.

Second lesson: If the evaluation of the evidence amounts to a workable theory, just stick it up there and let others hurl abuse at it until, either holes get knocked in the theory, or it becomes clear that the theory stands up.

The Dutch Billy has been so submerged under the weight of subsequent layers of the building record that the only way we have to fully reveal it’s story is through an almost archaeological un-picking of the layers and through the sketching of conjectural reconstructions. Surviving photographs do not reveal the full story of the Dutch Billy, they reflect the hugely uneven survival of gabled houses in that hundred year period of 1850 to 1950. That record has left us a distorted impression of Dutch Billy heritage that unwittingly misrepresents the distribution, status and variant typologies in this legacy of gabled street-architecture that is unique to Ireland, at least in terms of the English speaking world of this period

That’s all that we’re trying to do here:- un-pick the layers and fill out the picture.

If the suggestion is that this is somehow not worth doing, or that there’s no point extending legal protection to surviving fabric because there’s nothing much left other than a handful of ”featureless shells”, that’s the kind of bull-shit Philistine comment I’d expect from a third generation hack county councillor, not someone who had some standing in the conservation community.

. . with or without smiley faces rolling on the floor laughing

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