Oldest house in city is found on Thomas St

by Gazette Reporter
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A DISCOVERY on Thomas Street has revealed the oldest house in Dublin.
Dating from 1639, 130 Thomas Street, though unremarkable from its exterior, caught the interest of Dublin Civic Trust officer Graham Hickey after he noticed its unusual roof and chimney on Google Maps aerial view.
After gaining access to the house from its estate agents, HIckey took his life in his hands entering the dilapidated structure which he describes as “literally collapsing in on itself”.
Once inside he struck gold when his torch illuminated a beautiful early staircase.
“Suddenly, under the flashlights, this beautiful early staircase came into view at the back of the house,” says Hickey. “It was absolutely amazing; one of those moments when you know you’re bang on the money.”
It was this staircase that confirmed Graham’s suspicions – this derelict building right in the city centre, dates back to the 1600s, a time that not many houses in Dublin have survived from.
Hickey joked that he felt like Indiana Jones trying to exit the house on making his discovery. “The house was unravelling around me and it was very much touch and go getting back out.”
He then wasted no time applying to Dublin City Council to have the building listed as a protected structure.
Builder Paul Sinnott bought 130 Thomas Street for €125,000 in March 2014. “It was a bit of a rush buy because it was at auction,” Sinnott says. “I thought I’d take a chance on it because I had worked on similar buildings before. But I didn’t realise how old it was and what was inside.”
With the help of conservation architect, David Averill, Sinnott had samples of wood from the house sent to Queens University Belfast to be tested. After four months the results revealed that the wood dated back to 1639 making it the oldest intact house in Dublin.
130’s average appearance on the outside gives no indication of the time capsule that exists within. “It has a horrendous facade, but it’s cloaking a much older building from behind,” HIckey said.
Intricate brickwork, triangular gable low ceilings, exposed oak beams, a corner fireplace and the twisted barley sugar shape bannisters of the staircase that first caught Hickey’s attention are all unique features that date the house to the 1600s.
Sinnott has made it his mission to restore the property and has begun the enormous task of conserving all the original elements.
He plans to turn the building into two one-bed apartments, with a shop unit on the ground floor.
After making such a landmark discovery, Hickey plans to seek out the city’s oldest buildings that are “all hidden and lurking behind ordinary facades”.

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