Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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A while ago we looked at some late 19th and early 20th century photographs of O’Connell St., Clonmel and found one house on the south side of the street near the West Gate and a terrace of three houses on the north side of the street which exhibited features characteristic of Dutch Billys.

The house near West Gate, [no. 39] has lost it’s all-important roof and attic storey, but is otherwise substantially complete and retains the reduced remains of a very large corner chimney stack, mid-span floor beams at ground and first floor level and a pair of front-to-back ceiling beams between the front bays at second floor level i.e. the base of the attic storey. The stairs, which appears to have been always located in a rear return, has been completely replaced and everything else studded over, but the bulk of the structure, from basement to second floor level, appears to be intact.

Two of the probable ‘Billys’ on the north side of the street [nos. 66 and 67], along with no. 65 were demolished for the fine classical ‘Munster and Leinster Bank’ [now AIB], but remarkably no. 68, survives virtually intact, externally at least.

An Eason Collection view of O’Connell St looking east and the same view today

These lunnette windows are not necessarily proof positive of a former ‘Billy’, but the steeply pitched, cruciform, roof [the west arm is missing but there are indications that this is an alteration dating to the demolition of it’s neighbour] and the way that the hipped front section of roof slams into the present flat parapet, is all quite compelling evidence that we’re looking at another Georgian-masked ‘Billy’. A basic survey of the interior would likely confirm this.

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