Why have they done this to the fireplace/flue?

We have unblocked a fireplace which previously had a gas fire in. We've only gone about 2 feet up and 3'2'' across. From the lines on the wall the lintel arch seems to start at about 3'7''.
The trouble is inside the chimney at the point we've reached someone seems to have bridged across the flue with a couple of bricks, splitting it into 3. They have then blocked up the two outer holes and put a flat piece of concrete halfway across the middle hole, making a very small outlet for smoke. Does anyone know why they would have done this? I would like to put either a stove or log basket into this fireplace.
The trouble is, looking up the inside of the chimney I can't see any evidence of the lintel as I believe I can see on the outside. I really don't want to chip the plaster off yet. Please tell me these bricks inside the flue aren't some method of support!
Thanks for any help
Christine
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk (Christine) wrote:
Hello Christine

Has it been lined? Is that narrow opening merely the bottom of a flue pipe?
Poke something up there to see whether there's a metal pipe beyond it - if so, then your stove's flue might be able to fit directly to it.
--
Simon Avery, Dartmoor, UK
uk.d-i-y FAQ: http://www.diyfaq.org.uk /
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