Re: Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!
What you saw from your bus are the foundations of mostly 18th century buildings at James’ Gate, before the Wide Street Commissioners got their hands on it. You can see the buildings we have found recently marked in red on the Rocque map extract attached (1756 date).
The walls you saw are actually a mismash of multiple phases of buildings built over each other. The Rocque-phase of c. 18th century buildings are probably the middle phase, demolished c. 1850s.
A ‘mishmash’ of walls doesn’t sound very encouraging.
The house on the corner of James’ Gate and Watling Street was in the possession of a tobacconist called Daniel Hutchins in 1766 and his holding included ‘. . the house at the rear thereof, part of which is over the Chapell gate in Watling Street.’ One of the things we’d like to know is whether there is a correlation in date between the structures surrounding the church gate and the church building itself. In other words, was this an integrated development, as appears to have been the case with the Liffey Street chapel.
One of the witnesses to Hutchins’ lease of the property, in 1766, was a Francis Ryan, whose profession is listed as, ‘tailor’, but who was otherwise a property developer and, unusually for the times, a Catholic. Ryan had developed a number of in-fill sites in the city, including nos. 15, 16 & 17 Moore Street, [the 1916 National Monument houses, about which there is an eerie silence]. If Ryan was involved in the development of the properties fronting Watling Street, it would be an indication that the construction of the chapel may have been a planned and integrated development.
On the other hand, Ryan was also related by marriage to Hutchins, so his association with the Watling Street property may not have been due to any development role, but it would be worth checking out.