Monday, 16 February 2015

First Floor Fireplace

Work began today on the first floor front room fireplace. This will be the most important fireplace in the house, in that it will be located in the living room and will be in constant use so will be important to get right.

This was the fireplace as it stood, looking very sorry for itself:

As you can see, the opening is tiny (approx 10" deep and about double that in width at its widest) and is of little use in it's current form. The plan was to widen the opening considerably so a solid fuel burning stove can be inserted, which will heat both the living room and provide heating to the water in the 200l thermal stove, located in the attic space.

It's likely that this wasn't the original opening size, as once the area was opened up, the original brick casing became clear, whilst the inside of the opening was filled with miscellaneous stone/brick rubble to pad out the space for the smaller grate that was installed.

Space was first created above the opening to insert a new head. Already you can see the opening is clear of rubble:

After many hours work, this was the finished result:

The left side wall of the fireplace had to be rebuilt as there was little to work with. Salvaged red brick was used to complete the wall. The fireplace is also inherently off center due to the flue rising from the floor below traversing the other side of the rebuilt left side wall.

The flues are really quite over-sized despite the modest proportions of the house; you could stand up inside them with a bit of squeezing.

I opted for a Henley Druid 21KW stove with backboiler. It supplies 8KW of heat to the room and a further 13KW to water. It has something of an understated style which I liked:

The resulting rubble:

An 1820s fireplace surround is being sourced from Dublin this week, more updates very soon.


  1. Thank you for all your postings and photos. So far I've only managed to browse through the site, but I can see there is a wealth of information here. Along with all the work you are doing on the house I am grateful that you take the time to update the blog. Keep up the great work. I think the bedroom is lovely. (all I've seen so far)

    1. Thanks for the kind words, glad you enjoy it!

    2. Hi Stephen,

      Just spent the last hour trawling through your blog - on the one hand I'd love to be working on this kind of build and on the other hand I think you might be a bit nuts (which is a pre-requiste anyway!) Again, congratulations on some brilliant work. Would love to hear how the floor performs. Best of luck.

    3. Thanks very much Bill! It's quite the stressful ride let me tell you. :)