Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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Gunter, interesting observations of the roofscapes on lower Thomas Street and George’s Street. That block including those 3 houses on George Street (128-130) you mentioned above, appear in John Ferrar’s map from 1787. Thus making them part of the first buildings in Newtown Pery. When one reads the following account by Judith Hill, one sees there existed a very strong consensus to conformity back then, even to rebuild when required.

The Grid and a consensus (Judith Hill ~ Building of Limerick)

. . . . . . . The overwhelming impression was of prosperity, ‘modernity’ and uniformity. The uniformity was of course an illusion. Variations existed. For example George’s Street terraces were larger than those of the side streets. Doors were different, some buildings had balconies. But there was consistency; it was the doors of the higher terraces that were wider, balconies tended to occur in the latter terraces.

One might speculate that a set of rules were applied. In the case of London and Dublin rules have been found. There were the Building Acts in London and conditions or covenants inserted into the leases in Dublin. Here is an example in which the corporation of Dublin obliges the lessee:

to leave the quay forty feet wide, and to rebuild the houses in the following regular and uniform manner … at least three storeys high, besides cellars, the first or shop storey to be nine feet high, the second or middle storey to be ten feet high, the third or garret storey to eight feet high. The front and the rere walls to be fourteen inches thick and built with brick cemented with lime and sand. The window stools and copings to be of mountain stone, and the top of every house to be of an equal height and range with each other (M.Craig / Allen Figgis)

So far no evidence has been found for similar building guidelines in Limerick. Yet heights, widths, materials, windows, steps and stonework were consistently applied. . . . We are dealing with a situation in which a powerful consensus was in operation.

Newtown Pery Grid Plan 1769 ~ Christopher Colles. (larger image)
The small square at the Junction of O’Connell / Thomas Street never materialized (Blocks marked N, E, T, O). It is worth nothing that Thomas Street is pencilled in where Sarsfield Street is today. Old maps can be head wreckers at times.

Newtown Pery Map 1787 ~ John Ferrar (larger image)
The streets are not named, George Street is denoted as the road to Kerry and William Street is simply the new road.

Insurance Plan of Limerick 1897 (larger image)
George Street house numbers (128-130)

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