I live in a victorian terraced house, and one of the chimney breasts has been removed at some point in the distant past. However they didn't remove the part in the roof, which was poorly supported. I'm selling the house and thus I want it removed.

Prior to doing this, I spoke to my neighbour, and went into their loft to photograph the other side of the party wall so I could check afterwards there was no obvious damage.

Roughly where the chimney is however, the bricks are all messed up. I would expect cracks in the mortar if there was any movement of the wall, but instead it sort of looks like someone has taken bricks out and then wedged/cemented them back in.

This could have occurred literally any time in the past 70 years, but I am wondering what people make of it.

It's not the greatest picture, because the loft space is very small and hard to squeeze through, but you can see something weird has happened on the left.

enter image description here

My question is - is this a warning sign that you should get it checked out, or is it simply a case of someone taking out the bricks (for any myriad reasons) and patching it back up afterwards?

  • 1
    Bricks could've been replaced for any number of reasons--maybe a flue passed through at some point. Is that important somehow? What actual problem are you trying to solve? We can't possibly assess structural issues from here.
    – isherwood
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 14:54
  • Maybe when they removed the chimney breast, part of the chimney collapsed. Or, it could have been from water dripping and freezing on the bricks. Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 15:06
  • For sure there was a small section of bricks replaced. Are you asking us why they didn't do a good job when doing this??? My guess is this will never been seen and wanted the job done cheaply.
    – DMoore
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 16:11
  • 1
    That's where they buried the body...
    – JRaef
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 19:18
  • 1
    I've clarified my question, which is basically, if you saw this in your loft would you freak out that something is wrong, or would you simply just assume it is a repair job of some kind and it looks weird because you can't repair bricks to look perfectly like they did before (or perhaps you can, but whats the point in the loft)?
    – NibblyPig
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


There's a double layer brick wall between the two residences and the chimneys tied into this. It looks like when your neighbour's chimney was removed some of the bricks in the wall were disturbed and then replaced slightly crooked.

crooked bricks look untidy, but are not signifiantly weaker than perfectly aligned bricks. If there were cracks, that would be a warning sign, but crookedness by itself is not something to worry about.

  • The latter part is good to know. The former part, there is/was no chimney on her side which is the odd part, because her chimney is on the opposite side (instead of building the two houses mirrored as you'd expect, they built them the same) and it hasn't been removed. Also these houses have single skin walls, not sure about between me & neighbour but certainly all other exterior walls do. Anyhoo, I've had the unsupported chimney removed now and the roof repaired, so it's all good!
    – NibblyPig
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 8:36
  • it sure looks like a a double wall, there's a header course fourth down from the wood.
    – Jasen
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 9:30

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