Categories of Special Interest
In Use As
1785 - 1795
Attached three-bay four-storey former house over basement, built c. 1790 as one of terrace of three (Nos. 46-48), having series of two-storey returns to rear. Now in use as offices. Pitched roof to front span, hipped to north end, behind brick parapet with granite coping, and with two hipped roofs to rear, larger over south bays. Rebuilt red brick chimneystack to south party wall with replacement terracotta pots, and shouldered rendered chimneystack to north with octagonal clay pots. Concealed rainwater goods. Flemish bond red brick walling on moulded granite plinth course over ruled-and-lined rendered basement walling; rendered walling to rear. Square-headed window openings, diminishing in height to upper floors, with painted rendered reveals and granite sills, and having block-and-start granite surrounds to basement openings. Timber sliding sash windows, lacking horns to basement, ogee horns elsewhere, three-over-three pane to top floor, one-over-one pane to ground and first floors, with secondary glazing to latter, and six-over-six pane to basement and second floor. Decorative cast-iron balconettes to first floor Greek key detailing, and wrought-iron grilles to basement. Rear windows timber sliding sash, with round-headed stairs window to north-most bay. Elliptical-headed tripartite painted masonry doorcase with moulded render surround, engaged Adamesque Ionic columns and respondent quarter-pilasters, dentillated cornice and fluted frieze with rosettes, cobweb fanlight with fluted architrave, decorative leaded geometric sidelights and replacement eight-panel timber door with recent brass furniture. Sandstone entrance platform with decorative cast-iron boot-scrape and single step to street. Basement area enclosed by spear-headed cast-iron railings with corner piers on moulded granite plinth. Replacement timber door beneath entrance platform. Two-storey recent block towards rear of plot, shared with No. 49, having carparking to lane side bounded by calp limestone walling with vehicular and pedestrian entrances with recent brick arches.
No. 48 Merrion Square East forms part of a group built by James McMahon, comprising Nos. 46-48. It displays elegant proportions and good fenestration. Its ornate Ionic doorcase provides a strong decorative focus, supplemented by the decorative ironwork to the balconettes with their unusual Greek key detailing. With its intact setting details, it also contributes to the intact appearance of this important Georgian square, and the wider historic fabric of the south city. The square was laid out in the mid-eighteenth century on land belonging to Lord Fitzwilliam. Lined on three sides with eighteenth and nineteenth-century houses and on the west by the garden front of Leinster House, it is one of the key architectural set-pieces of Georgian Dublin. The relatively homogeneous appearance belies the piecemeal nature of its construction. Indeed, houses on east side are distinguished from those on the north by narrower proportions, as well as larger and more ornate tripartite doorcases. This group at the south end of the east side was built after 1786, when Lord Fitzwilliam arrived in Dublin to ensure that this side was 'perfected forthwith and a new street continued therefrom to Leeson Street.'