First the original 1905 timber mantelpiece had to be removed and the 1930s fireplace demolished. You can see that the original opening was much larger but had been bricked in for the later fireplace. The mottled purple tiles suggest the 1930s and my research indicates a major renovation of the house in 1935 by Martha Baxter, so it all fits together.
Behind the 1930s brickwork were traces of the original hearth tiles – dark green rectangular Mintons tiles.
That makes the recently-laid tiles for the dining room hearth an inspired choice!
They then hammered out some more of the brickwork and installed a new lintel.
Then lots of things occurred with the gas line under the floor and various connections. The final job for the day was the laying of the new slate hearth, which will be oiled and polished at the end of the installation. The new insert will be fitted tomorrow – I took pictures of it, but to publish them now would spoil the big reveal!