Chimney Column

Ham House had a single chimney column in the middle of the west wall of the building. The east end of the building was serviced by iron stoves and a gable chimney that we removed to affect repairs to the east frame. Though early, the gable chimney appears to have been a later modification. The kitchen, and above it the drawing room, were serviced by corner fireplaces. The foundation was constructed with the expectation of partners to the corner fireplaces, but the frame was not and these were never built. It seems a last-minute decision was made for iron stoves in the dining room and master bedroom.

Figure 1. Fireplace leg smashed for furnace flue.

Likely around 1900 the flue of a wood-burning furnace was smashed through the NE corner of the cook fireplace, and the opening of the fireplace bricked up. Given the off-centre load of the chimney column, it was lucky it did not fall over.

The bricks of the lower chimney column were quite small - measuring about 7 7/8" x 3 7/8" x 1 7/8". At the 2nd floor framing they became slightly larger. It appears the hearth and the liner of the cook fireplace had been rebuilt in the late 1850's with a much larger flat brick measuring about (?). This had been crudely done and was falling apart. Fortunately we had bricks from the gable chimney that could be used to rebuild the chimney and fireplaces.

Figure 2. Rebuilding liner

We dismantled the hearth and the later brickwork and rebuilt the hearth and chimney leg. Modern code required a lintel in the large masonry opening of the cook fireplace so we devised a metal lintal that could be embedded in the masonry. The jack arch of the opening had already shifted so required reconstruction regardless.

Figure 3. Hidden metal lintel in cook fireplace opening.

As the upstairs fireplace was to be operable, it would require makeup air from outside. a passage was cut through the massive chimney column and a pipe inserted.