Re: Re: ‘Dutch Billys’

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The old axo drawing of the Ward’s Hill / New Row South corner was an attempt to get to grips with the twin, gable ended, roof plan on a tappered site, but I know it still isn’t right because we don’t have enough information on the floor plans of the two houses. Rocque’s map shows the corner house as the bigger of the pair with a tiny corner yard to the rear of a tiny house taking up the right-hand half of the New Row frontage, but that is an inprobable arrangement and it doesn’t accord with the division line on the early Ordnance Survey maps, which show the right hand house as the bigger of the two, wrapping around the the rear of the corner unit!. There is also the possibility that, unlike the ‘Seven Gables’ corner opposite, which was always a pair of houses, the Ward’s Hill corner may have started out as a single large house and was subsequently divided into two.

This is where recovery of the foundation plan, in a detailed archaeological investigation, is critical.

The planning application (Reg. no. 3072/08) for the ‘Seven Gables’ site was declared invalid, so the clock hasn’t started ticking on that one yet. The ‘Seven Gables’ corner encapsulates so much that is inventive and characteristic in the Dublin ‘Dutch Billy’ tradition, that It really should be investigated thoroughly first, including archaeological trial holes, before any decision to permit the redevelopment of the site is granted.

Here are a few more pics of the site today and of the ‘Seven Gables’ before demolition. The 19th century view from Mill Street with the ‘Seven Gables’ just visible in the distance on the right is wrongly labelled ‘Marrowbone Lane with William Jameson’s Distillery’ from Freddie O’Dwyer’s Lost Dublin.

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