I've spent this evening starting to open up a fireplace for the future install of a multi-fuel stove. I have found a massive stone lintel behind the plaster and started to remove a few of the bricks below it (which were very loose and wobbled out - great!): Above the lintel seems to be another slab of stone which inside the chimney breast blocks off part of the chimney: This is what is looks like from inside looking up: I imagine this is to separate the flue from the opening on the floor above. What I want to know is, is it ok to remove all the bricks in the red square below: This includes two walls of what I assume to be infill bricks which you can see behind the front facing wall of bricks. I am able to put my hand above these two walls so I am guessing they are nothing to do with the gather. Another question I have is, I quite like the look of the stone lintel and may leave the chimney bricks exposed. Any ideas on how to clean it all up or make it look presentable? Thanks!