Alcove chimney breast

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I am confused to what this is on top of the alcove, I am planning to expose the bricks and open up the chimney breast.
Does anyone know what that is if I can make it redundant.
Thanks in advance
 
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it could be boxing-in for old pipes that used to flow to an return from a back boiler in thefire back.
is ther similar boxing-in above the other alcove or down the side cheek of the other side?
a photo showin the cimney breast an fireplace might help more.

why do you want to open up the chimney breast?
 
it could be boxing-in for old pipes that used to flow to an return from a back boiler in thefire back.
is ther similar boxing-in above the other alcove or down the side cheek of the other side?
a photo showin the cimney breast an fireplace might help more.

why do you want to open up the chimney breast?
perhaps if he gives it a tap it will show if its solid or box wood
 
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it could be boxing-in for old pipes that used to flow to an return from a back boiler in thefire back.
is ther similar boxing-in above the other alcove or down the side cheek of the other side?
a photo showin the cimney breast an fireplace might help more.

why do you want to open up the chimney breast?
Thank you for your reply
I suspected old pipes as well because there is a water tank in the loft but I don’t think it’s in use because there is a combo boiler now in the house.
I want to add a wood burner hence why I what to expose the bricks but it will look awkward with that side on the alcove. I have taped and it does sound hard like bricks.
 

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thers a few recent threads about doin what you propose - why notread them an then do a search of the forum for similar threads?
then come back with questions.
 

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