The History of Fireplaces Part 2

As our last blog stated, fireplaces have been used since the 15th Century and they’re still developing today. Here is the second and final part of our two part blog series…

17th Century

As much of England’s wood was used to build ships, coal burning became a popular fuel for fireplaces and led to the creation of baskets to hold coal in. In fact, the first of these baskets eventually developed into the dog grate which was raised above the hearth itself. After this, fenders were added in order to prevent cinders from escaping and creating potential fire hazards.

Jacobean decorations were followed by returning to a classic style such as simple square moulding in wood, stone and marble. This 17th century classicism followed with a number of designs, including baroque and rococo. Afterwards, the designs reverted back to classicism with the Adam Brother’s marble fireplace, which is still a big hit today.

The area situated between the legs and hearth tended to be lined with marble, slate or ceramic. Plus, pictures were incorporate with the designs. Traditional decorations including a mirror being hung over the mantelpiece and framed pictures being placed there also become hugely popular. This is a trend that has continued into the 21st century as we know it today as many people place large mirrors on the wall directly behind their fireplaces.

Victorian England

This turn of the century saw a rapid grow in wealth as the industrialisation made way for mass production. During this time, the fireplaces were made from cast iron with marble chimney bricks being prefabricated and then pierced together. The mantle also became wider to allow more room for candles, ornaments and pictures.


The reintroduction of the gothic design came as a reaction to high style which was based on medieval Gothic, developing partly from neo-classicism of Palladian architecture.

Here at Pearson Sweep, we find it interesting how much fireplaces have evolved, which is why we think it is particularly important that you have your chimney inspected and swept at least twice a year. After all, you wouldn’t want to ruin such beauty with a chimney fire that can be prevented. Get in contact with the best chimney sweep Manchester has to offer today!

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