They're one of the most ubiquitous aspects of 19th century houses, a feature that functions as both a source of warmth and light and a decorative element in the interior design of the house (as so many things do). We see a lot of fireplaces during our work in the city, as we record 19th century buildings damaged by the earthquakes. Some of them are elaborate, some of them are basic and some of them have been modified over the last century, evolving to reflect changing fashions and taste in interior design. All of them have a story to tell. The following images include some of the best and most interesting examples seen by our buildings archaeologists as they investigate the built heritage of the city.
Peter Mitchell, Kirsa Webb, Francesca Bradley and Jessie Garland.