A replacement marble fire surround has been successfully installed at Balintore Castle over this weekend as shown in the photograph. The original marble surround must have been removed many decades ago. However, the metal insert is original to this location as is the hearthstone, and with so much of the fireplace structure in place, it felt right to get a suitable surround installed as soon as possible.
However, finding a fire surround of the right dimensions to suit the abnormally large insert proved problematic as described in a previous blog post. I bought an abnormally large marble chimney piece at an architectural antiques auction outside Ascot with this location specifically in mind, but was it or was it not going to fit?
When Andy and Gregor held it in position some time ago, all the dimensions were correct except that there was a one inch gap between the fireplace and the wall, even with the fireplace as far back as it could go. Should one fill this gap with plaster or what? Back to the drawing board.
Eventually, we decided to do the job properly and explored whether the insert could be moved further back into the wall. Barrie tackled this manfully. By removing the old infill and by re-seating the insert as far back as it would go, we got roughly an inch, but it was definitely going to be touch and go.
The good news from this weekend is that the surround actually does now fit! :-)
The replacement fire surround is probably 1880 rather than 1860 when the castle was constructed. This statement in green serpentine, and brown breccia marbles is more elaborate in design than the original would have been. However, I think it captures the spirit of Balintore, and one could easily believe the fire surround has always been in that location.
|marble fire surround installed this weekend at Balintore Castle|