Dodgy chimney breast issue

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Hi

Just bought a Victorian semi and have discovered an issue with the fireplace.

The plasterwork was falling off, so i removed it, then knocked a few courses back assuming there would be a lintel somewhere. Apparently not!

I've propped up with acrows and strongboys, but the fireplace has previously been bricked up really shoddily and it has all fallen away under the acrows.

Is it going to be safe to put a lintel across this space (1.7m) which would only be supported by a brick's width on each side or should I rebuild it back up from the bottom?

Image of how it looks now here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/guJvHrugY4YAFQ4E9
 

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Well that must have been disappointing, no nice arch in there.
The loads aren't that high so lintel on half brick walls will take the weight.
Proper would be full brick sides and lintel- but you might find a distressing lack of foundations under any of it- a test prod with a long sds drill bit might be informative
 
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Thanks for the advice. Where on the photo would you recommend I install the lintel? How high can I get away with?
 
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Height of the lintel- up to you really, wherever suits your longterm master plan :). If that plan includes a woodburner then get some Mfr specs for clearances, otherwise if that breast is 4' wide I'd be inclined to go 3' (to make it look right)- get a bit of 4 X 2 and some speed clamps and see how it looks to you.
 
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If there is no lintel or arch, then what has been holding up the weight of the chimney in this case?
 
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That chimney has been butchered along with all the mid-feather corbelling work too.

It will require a re-build from a point that the OP wishes to start from in terms of future installation. It will require lintels going in both directions in order to first support the frame and then the throat and the flue.
 
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That chimney has been butchered along with all the mid-feather corbelling work too.

It will require a re-build from a point that the OP wishes to start from in terms of future installation. It will require lintels going in both directions in order to first support the frame and then the throat and the flue.
I would advise a rebuild as well. The jambs should be at least 9 inch brickwork, although 13 inch brickwork is better.
 

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