Mountcharles style fireplace

How to build a stone fireplace and chimney flue (3)

The fireplace is the heart and soul of a cottage. People gather here and share stories. In the old days the fire was never allowed to go out. Ashes were spread over embers to ‘keep them in’ until morning.

This unique Mountcharles style fireplace has now got its first slab back in place, mortared onto cantilevered buttresses, which rest upon pillar comrades.

In a new cycle of life this thresher byre is to have a wood burning stove tucked into its fireplace, so the traditionally wide chimney must be narrowed to support a clay flue pipe.

Two through stones are built-in to hold the clay flue, which shall be fitted in sections and enclosed, but not tightly (above: birdseye view).

Showing the position of flue pipe (left) & space allowed around it which shall be packed with insulating dry sand and lime mixture. This will allow expansion of the hot pipe without cracks.

Our slabs are fairly rough-hewn affairs. Kieran lightly trims the edges so that they can stack flush. The slabs themselves do not bear weight – the original building method used in this particular byre is described here.

 Notches are cut from the lower corners to fit snugly onto the weight-bearing through stones.

Add a little manpower..

            “Nil aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin”   –    “There is no fire like your own fire”.

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5 thoughts on “How to build a stone fireplace and chimney flue (3)

  1. I’ve just started following your blog, it is really good to see such a beautiful job being done with this stone and knowing that it is a restoration of a traditional home makes it even better. Such lovely and clever stone work, keep up the good work! What memories those stones must hold!

    • Thank you for your comment Andrea – indeed I often wonder what memories these stones hold. Some have been recycled over the centuries from nearby pre famine ruins, so they’ve seen a few changes! Louise

  2. First time visitor to Ireland – first time burning peat. I’ve built a lot of fireplaces in the US, but find the peat burning fireplaces unique and unusual. The one we are using now has a large arch outside of what would normally be the “firebox,” and the fire is kind of built out on the hearth. In (on) the top of the arch is a “damper” which should be opened, once the fire is glowing red, to retard draw. I’m still scratching my head as to just how this works – the opposite of any fireplace I’ve built in the past (damper closes to retard draw).

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