Some of the above inglenook images just needed a stove to bring them into the 21st century, others needed complete restoration including new hearths, brickwork, pointing and fireplace mantels to ensure they blended sympathetically into their surroundings. Understanding and using ancient materials and methods while peeling back generations of alterations, to unveil an original inglenook, is an interesting and satisfying part of our work.
Inglenook chimneys, usually found in properties over 300 years old, were designed to cope with masses of heat and smoke produced by large open fires used for heating, cooking and in some cases for the occupiers' trade (baker, blacksmith etc.). The oversized flues do cause problems with modern living as, even when not in use, the chimney rapidly pulls air from your house. This may be fine in summer, but in winter an inglenook can remove all of the heat produced by central heating in a room every 10 minutes. The perfect answer is to add a smaller, more controllable wood burning stove by Charnwood, Clearview, Contura, Morso or Rais that needs a greatly reduced flue size. We find that stainless steel flexible liners with insulating wrap or rigid stainless steel chimney flue systems (for thatched roofs) are best to use in inglenooks, as the method of installation allows the least disturbance to the ancient structure.
The main aim of insulating a flue is to ensure the unburned gasses (smoke) from an appliance reach outside without cooling and solidifying on the way, creating a sticky tar build up. With inglenook chimneys it is usually not practical to back-fill around the new flue using vermiculite, therefore an insulating wrap is used.
In properties with thatched roofs, it is necessary to use a rigid stainless steel chimney system that is supplied ready insulated. This will guarantee heat cannot be transferred through touching brickwork, which can and does ignite the thatch.