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Up on the roof

wibble_puppy and I went up on the roof yesterday to have a look at the chimney, but it was much too hot to work up there (the black slate tiles were burning any body parts in contact with them), so I just removed the redundant TV aerial and came back down. Today was cooler so I went back up and managed to clear the bricks, concrete and twigs out the top of the small bedroom chimney. The bricks and concrete were part of the remains of an old chimney cap that had fallen to bits (I carted what was left of it down in a rucksack over the course of several trips). The twigs had presumably been put there by nesting Jackdaws.

After clearing the top of the chimney out, I discovered why I had been unable to dislodge the bricks from below: when the top bit of the chimney was rebuilt using horrible modern bricks, the builders (presumably the same ones who backfilled the lower part of the flue with rubble) put in a weird constricted bit between the lower section of flue and the new upper one. The flue is larger both above and below the constriction. I'm really not sure what the point of it is, and it will need to be removed if the flue is to be made usable again (either for the Rayburn flue or to reinstate the open fire in the bedroom).

This photo was taken looking down into the top of the small-bedroom half of the chimney:

The gardening hoe is there because I was using it as a tool to push assorted detritus down the flue from the top. It should also give you an idea of the size of the constriction.

While I was up on the chimney with a camera I took the opportunity to record a rather poor quality wobbly video showing the view around the house (not recommended for viewers with vertigo or motion sickness! ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqXEFk8PYjQ
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Comments

That chimney thing looks rather puzzling! Why on earth would you block up a perfectly good chimney? Unless of course it was someone hiding their treasure in it..

I assume you have checked for treasure maps in all the relevant places?
My best guess is they thought they might as well block it up because the fireplace below was already bricked up, but either they completely filled the space and a brick has now fallen out, or they decided to leave the small gap as a token gesture towards ventilating the flue. Unfortunately to properly ventilate a disused flue it shouldn't be completely filled with rubble and soot, there should be a vent at the bottom as well as the top so air can be drawn through, and there should be a vented cap on the top to stop rain and debris falling down it. Dampness from rain will be what caused the rectangular stain on the bedroom wall where the fireplace used to be. Even if the flue doesn't end up being used for either the Rayburn or a fire in the bedroom, the clearing-out was worth it so that it can now be properly ventilated in order to avoid future damp problems.

I will need to do some research in Enid Blyton to refresh my memory on where the traditional treasure map hiding places are... ;)
Chiefly old metal boxes, I believe.

Or old trunks in attics, or perhaps false floors/loose stone flags.