Focus On: Inglenook Fireplaces

October, 2021

Focus On: Inglenook Fireplaces

Inglenook fireplaces are full of character and history. They are an attractive and sought after feature in older homes as a place to cosy up by the fire. We take a look at their origin and appeal.

The name is derived from ‘ingle’ an old Scottish word for a domestic fire (aingeal in Gaelic) and ‘nook’ meaning small space or recess. Also known as a chimney corner.

  • Braggington House has two fine examples of inglenook fireplaces. It is an attractive Grade II Listed half timbered house set in mature gardens and grounds. Click here for more details or to arrange a viewing do get in touch via the contact details below.

Originally a partially enclosed hearth area, inglenooks became popular in the mid to late 16th Century. Prior to this time they featured in wealthy houses and monasteries. They became the heart of the home where the family would gather to keep warm around the fire. It was the only heat source and where all the cooking was done. Later kitchens developed in wealthier homes but in the poorest homes people still relied on the fireplace for everything.

Some manor houses and old cottages still retain inglenook fireplaces as well as in many an old English pub. The walls of the alcoves were often plastered or washed with lime in order to reflect back the heat and light into the room.

Recessed fireplaces with seating also became a character feature of Arts & Crafts architecture but began to disappear with the adoption of central heating in homes. Inglenooks were then considered an addition to the living space as an intimate place to keep warm or to cosy up with a good book.

Once central heating became more widespread in the 1950s many original fireplaces were blocked up to make space for more modern appliances.

The term can also be applied today in the fireplace industry for a fireplace within a chimney breast which has been opened out to its maximum width.

Contact Pritchard & Company for advice on buying or selling a property on 01608 801030 or email