Monthly Archives: September 2014

Inglenook fireplace restoration

Inglenook fireplace restoration.
Having uncovered the inglenook( see earlier posts) and carried out structural masonry repairs using lime mortar and hand made bricks,then fitted a new oak bressumer beam, the fireplace is about ready for an Aga range to be installed .
the hearth is of reclaimed pamments with a limecrete base where the Aga will sit.
the whole affect is not only structurally sound now, but is the key feature in the room,offering a feeling of warmth,texture and colour.
photo 1
In all a very successful operation,ensuring the stack is secure and making great use of the space, once the Aga is working-can’t wait to see it fired up!
Thanks to for the lime products!

Inglenook restoration

Inglenook fireplace restoration.
This second post relating to the discovery of an inglenook fireplace relates to the structural issues caused by the fireplace being bricked up with no vent for years and also the beam having been burnt right through at some stage.
The soft red bricks had suffered a great deal from the damp and flue salts,breaking them down to a ‘mush’ of soot and brick dust.
This severely affected the structural integrity of the flue and stack above ,as the bricks at the base had crumbled away, the weight above had pushed the base outwards,with some significant cracks to either side.
To add to the troubles the bressumer beam had burnt right through and needed to be replaced with another.Quite a state in all!
First job, add support using Acrow props and then begin to rebuild the masonry using of course a lime mortar and bricks to match in size,texture,colour and absorbency, these new, hand made by local crafstmen.
The cracks were repaired by building new masonry into the old where stable enough ,with the addition of stainless steel helical bars where we could to tie in both sides.
The beam took some sourcing, but eventually a suitable size and air dried age was found.with the fireplace propped, up the old beam could be carefully removed and the new one settled into place,leaving the Acrows to carry the load for awhile until the fresh mortar could take the weight alone.
The next installment reveal the restored fireplace ,ready for an Aga range to be fitted.

Discovery of an inglenook fireplace

We are often asked to investigate what appears to be an inglenook fireplace,one that has been ‘bricked up’ at some later stage.
With our extensive understanding of period properties and a bit of detective work we can usually inform the client that they do indeed have one under the modern infill.
The discovery of an inglenook fireplace is always an exciting one!

This was just the case on a recent investigation to a 16th C timber framed home,where the current kitchen clearly had all the right signs- see the image above to view the bricked up inglenook and later posts to see images of it during and after restoration.
The inglenook fireplace was certainly there and would have been a good size, but on opening it up the masonry and timbers had clearly suffered a great deal by being enclosed in cement render for many years.

Having removed the cement render and plaster,it soon became clear that the bressumer beam over the inglenook had also burnt right through at some time in the distant past and maybe that was the reason it was infilled.

The bressumer beam( the beam which spans the opening over the fireplace) could no longer carry the load of the flue above, but the clients really wanted to fit an Aga range ,so we needed to take out the burnt through beam and replace it- sounds easy, but see the pics and later updates to see how we managed it-quite a challenge………….