Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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A little gem of a place – a full survey is urgently required. Is it on the RPS gunter? Any knowledge of the interior?

We appear to have another surviving Billy in Dundalk in the middle of Clanbrassil Street, the main street.

This 1880-1900 photograph below shows an ancient looking building to the right of the grandiose Victorian pile. With a later addition of a beautiful 19th century timber shopfront to the ground floor, initial impressions would suggest the floor levels were altered, similar to the Thomas Street house (nice find gunter!), but large expanses of wall are commonplace in Irish vernacular. This could be the original arrangement.

The view today. Just what is it with unfortunate gable-fronted houses and light industrial makeovers?! Modernist me eye.

Sadly, its right-hand neighbour has been completely rebuilt only recently, but from what I can make out, the substructure of our building remains intact. The building appears to have had its front facade and part of its interior rebuilt in a 1950s makeover (including the last vitrolite shopfront in Dundalk). The interior has been thoroughly gutted of original features, the most recent refurbishment just being fnished as we speak, but the substantial remains of the structure seems to be still there – not least as there are Edwardian fireplaces in the top floor. All traces of corner chimneystacks are gone, but with a simple spine wall layout, it’s possible to imagine where they might have been.

And the real evidence? What seems to be the perfect outline of a cruciform roof structure on the neighbouring building.

It’s particularly nicely stepped back from the front parapet.

Part of the cruciform structure itself survives on the opposite side.

Wherever you encounter 1930s-1950s street infill in Ireland, think 1730s-1750s!

Delighted that the recent application to remove the vitrolite shopfront was turned down by Dundalk Town Council on foot of its conservation cffice’s report which urged retention of its ‘classic 20th century styling’ and that the proposed replacement windows be better informed by the character of the building. On the money.

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