It turns out the new gable timber frame is due to arrive at the start of October (the old one was rotten) but before the frame arrives there is a lot of work to do. There are two beams that pass right through the chimney, but beetle infested wood isn’t great structurally so needs to go. Some unusual use of acro props with a strongboy at each end (I’m working higher than the longest acro so can’t use the ground for support) will hopefully dissuade the chimney from falling over while the beams are cut out.
It seems the timber frame is earlier than the chimney, and was much modified when the chimney was added. The brick size and English bond pattern used in the chimney are characteristic of the 17th century. The first records of a pub on the site are from 1646, but I don’t know whether the building had a previous use, or whether they decided shortly after building it that a brick chimney might be nice. If I can find any wood that has survived the beetles I’ll hang on to it so I can have it dated at some stage.
When the chimney was built 2 inch thick brick tiles were added to either side of the timber beam in order to support the chimney brickwork. The tiles on the inside were still supporting the chimney so I left them in place and replaced the timber with bricks before putting the external tiles back in place. The mortar will look tidier and match the rest of the chimney after brushing.
Further up the chimney a 2 inch thick beam was removed and replaced with tiles so I could retain the tiles on the outside. This section is near the top of the 9 inch part of the chimney so had a course of bricks behind.