Please help identify area in old flagstone floor

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Hello,
I've uncovered a flagstone floor (2nd one) and I've come across an area that appears to be aggregate/concrete.
I've removed the old floor screeds but this area is slightly higher than the flags and I can't make any impression on it at all.
There is some kind of paint on top layer, and another thin layer of awful, super hard screed before the aggregate/concrete.
What is it, and why is it there...and should I leave it alone?
The house was built 1826
Many thanks for any help.
Pics attached
floor1.jpeg
floor2.jpeg
floor3.jpeg
 
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is your purpose to expose the flags as a finished floor?

the hard screed could be just that, a screed over a concrete base that butts up to the flags but what for - why wouldn't the flags cover the whole floor - why stop flaggin an pour a slab of sorts?

does this screed/conc go deep say 150mm or is it just a toppin with more flags below it?

is ther any damp in the room or surroundin rooms?
 
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Hello,

thanks for the reply.

Yes, the flags will be the finished floor.

The rest of the screeds came up with hammer and chisel, various thicknesses across the floor, but this is solid, I can't get anything off it with the chisel and didn't want to drill before getting another opinion.

The living room, the only other downstairs room, was damp before I removed the old screeds to expose the flags last summer, it's now dry

There are a few large flagstones in the garden, here when I moved in, I'm guessing from here, but I don't know why they would be removed and infilled with concrete?
 
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Firstly, I have to admire your persistence, digging out old screed with a claw hammer and wood chisels.

Looking at the flags that butt up to the concrete strip, I'd guess that the concrete strip is laid over the top of at least one more strip of flagstones.

Invest in a lump hammer, cold chisel, or better still a SDS drill with rotostop. Don't forget protection, such as goggles.
If you do find that the concrete is 100mm thick or more, hire a breaker.
Probably the reason why the flagstones are not damp is because they can breathe and damp is evaporating. Concrete does not have this breathability characteristic.

If the flagstones really are missing from under the concrete, you could try reclamation yards, or it is possible to recreate a reasonable impression of flagstones with a limecrete. I suggest limecrete for that breathability. You may have to experiment with colour matching.
 
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Looking at the photos the concrete appears to follow the line of the staircase above. I wonder if the property had one of those semi-cellars (I don't know the correct term) where a set of steps go down but don't actually go anywhere, which has been backfilled and capped with a concrete slab?

I would try drilling a hole through the slab to gauge how thick it is. If it isn't too thick you might be able to break it up with an electric breaker but then you've got the problem of trying to match the existing flagstones or choosing a complementary floor finish for the infill section. I think I might be inclined to leave it and just throw a rug over it.
 
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Many thanks wessex10 and jasonzyx for your replies.
I'm embarrassed that I didn't think of a lump hammer!
I do have an SDS drill with roto stop, so I will give that a go with a chisel bit.
I don't want to get the whole lot out (if there are not flags underneath) just enough to make fake flagstones with limecrete which I have done quite successfully on the other floor as the flags are so degraded with large chunks just crumbling away
Thanks again
 
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That straight strip of concrete looks too neat. The way the last row of flags is so narrow suggests to me they were probably cut at some point to do “something” then just backfilled with concrete...... second thoughts then why cut them and not just lift those last bits and concrete that too? Hmmmmm...... could they be originally like that and there might have been a wall/ cupboard/ pantry there? Certainly explore it but if you’re set on a flagstone floor you’d better get angry with that chisel and get down the reclaim yard.
 
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Thanks for the reply Pilsbury.
There is the remains of a line of white paint where the flags joint the concrete, so maybe there was a wall as you suggest.
Still a mystery as to why it wouldn't be flagged on the other side of the wall though.
Chisel bits arrived for SDS drill today, so here goes.....
 
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It appears to be under the stairs so perhaps the steps to the cellar?

You know, the one where all the bodies are buried. :)
 

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