Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Three colourful redbrick houses
in a terrace in inner city Limerick

Carrick Villas … three picturesque and highly decorative Victorian houses on Newenham Street, Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Patrick Comerford

On my walk around inner-city Limerick yesterday afternoon, I stopped to admire Carrick Villas, a short terrace of three unusual late Victorian houses – Nos 8, 9 and 10 Newenham Street – between Henry Street and O’Connell Street in Limerick.

These picturesque though neglected highly decorative houses stand on the south side of Newenham Street and they provide a colourful and sharp contrast to the imposing and sometimes sober Georgian terraces found on the neighbouring streets.

The three small houses that form Carrick Villas were built in redbrick and stone around 1875, and they are at odds with the uniformity of the remainder of the street. Their decorative yet modest façades add interest and variety to the streetscape of this part of inner city Limerick.

No 8, on the corner of Newenham Street and Lourigan’s Lane, is an end-of-terrace, two-bay, two-storey house with an attic storey and a gable, and with a gabled attic storey and return.

The redbrick walls are laid in Flemish bond with yellow brick quoins and window and door surrounds, and on this house the letters ‘Carrick’ can be seen in the yellow brick above the first floor.

There are rubble limestone walls at the side gabled elevation and the rear elevation. There are yellow brick flat-arched window openings with timber casement windows and limestone sills, with two-over-two timber sash window to ground floor.

There is a yellow brick round-arched door opening with a replacement decorative timber-panelled door flanked by pair of timber pilasters and foliate console brackets with an architrave and fanlight above.

The front door opens onto a concrete step and a limestone flagged front area that is enclosed by low red brick walls with limestone ashlar stiles and coping that have cast-iron railings and a gate.

The house has a pitched natural slate roof with a substantial shared red brick chimneystack, terracotta pots and cast-iron rainwater goods. There are decorative black clay ridge tiles to the central attic half-dormer, with a barge board and timber finial.

The lettering in yellow brick at No 8 and 9 Carrick Villas (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

No 9 is a mid-terrace, two-bay, two-storey over basement polychromatic house, with a gabled dormer attic window above decorative brick lettering to the eaves level, reading ‘Villas.’

Here too the redbrick-faced walls are laid in Flemish bond with red and yellow brick quoins to the east party wall. There is a rubble limestone rear elevation.

The house has square-headed window openings, with raised yellow-brick surrounds that have block-and-start sides and flat arches and limestone sills to both. The windows are replacement uPVC windows.

The round-arched door opening has a yellow brick arch and surround, and the inset timber doorcase has flat panels with console brackets joined by a profiled lintel. There is an early raised and fielded panelled timber door, and a plain fanlight above.

There is a pitched artificial slate roof with cast-iron rainwater goods, and a timber finial and plain timber bargeboard to the dormer. There is a redbrick chimneystack to the west party wall.

The front site is enclosed by a redbrick plinth wall with limestone coping supporting the original wrought-iron railings with arch and finial detailing. There are limestone reveals at the gate opening, and a limestone flagged path to the front door.

Decorative brickwork at No 10 Carrick Villas (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

No 10 is the smallest of the three houses on this terrace and is almost diminutive in this street setting.

This is a single-bay, two-storey, polychromatic house, with decorative brick coursing at the eaves level. The redbrick faced walls are laid in Flemish bond with red and yellow brick herringbone courses at the eaves level.

The house has square-headed window openings, with raised red and yellow brick surrounds that have alternating chamfered and squared reveals to the block-and-start sides at the first floor level and ovolo moulded reveals at the ground floor level. There is a polychrome flat arch and limestone sill to both, and two-over-two timber sash windows with ogee horns.

The round-arched door opening has a yellow brick arch and surround, and an inset timber doorcase made of flat panels with console brackets joined by a profiled lintel. There is a replacement raised and fielded panelled timber door that has a plain fanlight above.

No 10 house has a pitched artificial slate roof with cast-iron rainwater goods. The rear span has been altered to form a dormer window.

The front site at No 10 is enclosed by a red brick plinth wall with limestone coping supporting the original wrought-iron railings with arch and finial detailing. There are Limestone gate reveals and original wrought-iron gate.

These three houses seem to be sadly neglected today, but a little tender loving care could return this terrace to a vivid and colourful presence in this part of inner city Limerick.

With a little careful attention, Carrick Villas could offer a vivid and colourful presence in inner-city Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

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