Although I remember commenting to my mother about the strange chimney configuration on my grandparent’s house as depicted in old photographs, which bear no resemblance to the reality of the layout in the 21st century, I obviously let it slip into the recesses of my mind until today!
As part of the house clearance and decision-making process about a property I’ve inherited, I have started to reveal some of the history hidden therein for some 40 or more years. At the back of a built in wardrobe in one of the rooms is an original cast iron fireplace. In order to make the property more interesting historically to any prospective purchaser (should I not keep it for myself) I have removed the said 1970s cupboards and consigned them to the skip.
Once opened up one can see the room has a small fireplace in the corner, complete with original glazed hearth tiles, but I was intrigued by the width of the chimney breast, wide enough for two fireplaces. I then remembered the old photo (shown here with my mother on the left with her sisters and brother c.1930) which shows two chimney pots in this chimney stack indicating the probability a fireplace in the adjoining room had been abandoned at some time in the past. Sure enough, the skirting board in this room is joined in two places where a fireplace should have been.
For some reason or other, my grandfather made the decision to build a new fireplace and chimney on an outside wall of the house; this is still in existence, the other chimney meanwhile has long gone!