Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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I don’t know how it could be ‘too niche’ Boooooog, did you point out all the cooking and gardening programmes on the air these days. Who, in their right mind, sits down to watch that stuff? . . . . or have I answered my own question

Congrats on your recent reproduction. I had a look at that big red brick house in Harold’s Cross, posted a while back.

Everything about the house is chunky, the door surround, the window cills and even the brick itself is a larger unit than we’re familial with. Obviously the house has had a serious Victorian make-over, but those later 19th century alterations stand out on their own and don’t explain the oddly clumsy features which appear to well pre-date any Victorian intervention.

In dividing the house into two, the lower flights of stairs have been taken out and replaced by a pair of mean stairs, but the hall retains a panelled timber partition on one side, with a nice shouldered door case.

view from entrance door with panelled hall partition on the right

internal details that look consistent with a 1740s sort of date

I agree with you that the window arrangement, no matter how Victorianized, is still strongly indicative of a façade that was originally triple gabled. We have growing evidence that that particular typology was very popular in the early to mid 18th century in exactly this kind of location.

The very fact that the original roof structure was so comprehensibly replaced by a new high Victorian affair [print above], in advance of the subsequent extensions that might have otherwise been thought to have prompted it, is itself a good indication that the original roof structure was perhaps more outdated than a standard Georgian roof might have been considered.

According to local history records, the house, which was subsequently an orphanage, was the birthplace in 1803 of the Quaker Richard Allen. Allen was a prominent, and subsequently London-based, slavery abolitionist, human rights activist, and noted traveller to exotic places. I’ll dig around a bit and see if following the Allen family back in the records yields anything like a construction date for the house.

The little vernacular terrace adjoining the big house to the south could have a gabled heritage too, it is certainly [twin/triple?] gabled to the rear.

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