Damp on gable wall

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Hi.
any advice on how to find the cause of these damp patches. Found upon stripping the front room that the chimney breast and side walls are damp, the wallpaper came off very easily. Looking at the outside it looks like the wall vents are where the chimney breasts are on the inside of the house. The fire has been taken out of the front room and a chimney sweep is coming to sweep it next week. I've noticed also the pointing is cracked inside the fireplace at the back, would this contribute?
Thanks in advance
 

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you have a cavity gable wall an unless your floors are suspended about 30" above ground level what are the vents supposed to be venting - the cavity?
do you have suspended floors?
the gable has been pointed with a thin skim of sand and cement - its already fallin out.
the vents an the pointin was maybe installed to hopefuly fix the damp problem you complaain of.

the cavity could be blocked with debris thats bridgin the DPC .
bridgin causes damp- where in the pics is the gable DPC ?

any damp higher up the walls or high up the chimney breast could be from condensation an salts from sooty flues.

could you post pics of the whole chimney breasts an the damp walls an a pic of the gable showin the chimney stack.
 

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