SHEEP STREET AND MEATMARKET LANE [LIMERICK CITY]

ACTUAL STREETS

SHEEP STREET AND MEATMARKET LANE

There is an old garda station [police station] on meatmarket lane but it is no longer in use. “Built at the end of the nineteenth century in the historic Meat Market Lane, with Mary Street to the North and opposite the narrow Creagh Lane. It has survived remarkably intact in the intervening years.”

Also there was at one stage a row of houses described as “Dutch Billys”.

Dutch Billy style houses were a common feature in the Englishtown and Irishtown area in Limerick.

Dutch Billys were reputedly named after William of Orange, and their arrival in Dublin is generally attributed to an influx of French Huguenots after 1685 and to Dutch and Flemish Protestants fleeing persecution after 1690 (Craig 1980, 86-87). However, it is clear from a number of excavations in Dublin including Smithfield (Directed by Franc Myles) and Newmarket (Directed by William Frazer) that this Anglo-Dutch building style was prevalent since at least the 1660s. The distinctive features of these buildings was that the roof-ridge ran at right angles to the street with the front gables, in the most characteristic examples, being masked by quadrants sweeping up to very flat curved or triangular pediments. These houses were built of brick, normally on stone foundations, and designed to stand in continuous terraces. Very often economy was achieved by the use of corner fireplaces so that two houses might share a single huge chimney-stack. The returns generally contained a small closet on each floor, and the roof-pitch was steeper than became usual later in the century (Craig 1980, 86-87).

The popularity of Dutch Billys was not just confined to Dublin, with large numbers also being built in cities such as Cork, Limerick and Galway. In addition many fine examples are recorded from smaller provincial towns, for example Derry and Wexford.

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