False chimney breast?

22 Jul 2011
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United Kingdom
We're in the process of preparing a room for a kitchen fitting after knocking two rooms into one.

Along one side of the room is a chimney breast approx 1.4m wide with open fire grate but only 24cm deep. The brickwork for this finishes at ceiling joist level. It appears that the chimney itself is a much smaller stack inside the larger chimney breast.

Has anyone come across anything similar before? Trying to work out the relationship between the chimney stack and the chimney breast and whether we could remove the chimney breast leaving the much smaller stack.
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General Fireplace appearance

'Infill' brickwork

Looking 'over the top' of the chimney breast on the lefthand side - outside wall on left, joist on right, floorboards from room above

Top righthand side of chimney breast. The chimney breast lines up with the joist, then there's a gap, then what I assume to be the chimney flue itself

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