Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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The alteration of the classic Dutch Billy roof-lines must have begun almost while they were still being built. Judging by Tudor’s view of College Green from 1753.

The third house, the one beside the twin (That’s for you Gunter), already had a parapet, and a rebuild of the upper floor, that is unless it’s a newly built transitional.

Either way, these things can be very confusing. Take for instance this building on Harold’s Cross Road.

I’ve been interested in this baby for a long time, but the whole top floor, the roof and chimneys threw me. That is until I noticed this detail in Francis Place’s Dublin from the Wooden Bridge Looking East, 1698.

The positions of the chimneys are nearly identical.

But if you look at the upper floor there is no discernable hip, that is until you follow the line of the Edwardian/Victorian shop extension around into the side alley.

You can see that up to the top of the first floor is of cut stone, while above that the side wall is of the same brick as the extension, suggesting that the second floor was rebuilt at the same time the extension was erected. But if you look at the rear wall of the house, rising to about a third of the way up the side of the window is a yellow brick, (Dolphin’s Barn is only down the road) and then above that to the eaves a darker brown brick. I suspect this was the hip. If you follow that line back around the side it lines up with the sills of the two tiny side windows giving the right proportions for a Dutch Billy, albeit with its attic story and roof shorn.

I think that this building was nearly identical to an earlier picture of a Billy in Newry posted by Gunter in August.

The thing that is really puzzling me is the brickwork. At the back you can see the scars of surgery, but the beautiful red brick on the front is strangely uniform.

Was the upper story and roof done before the extension?

Could this be original, recycled brick?

It may be a romantic notion, but I have a feeling the architect who designed the shop extension may have had a stab at mirroring the lost gables.

The RPS merely says this amazing building is a “red brick”. I talked to the chap who runs the junk shop across the street and he told me that the guy who owns the newsagent owns the house, where his ancient mother still resides. Tragically he told me that there was a dealer in fireplaces in the lane and he ripped out and flogged all the fireplaces in the last few years, so god only knows what’s happened inside.

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