Patrick Mitchell is an academic and has had a lifelong love of open fires. He built his first fireplace at the age of 15. After gaining a degree in physics he continued to work on fireplaces of differing ages and noticed that recently installed examples rarely perform as well as those that date from before 1950. This prompted him to study the principles of heat and air flow in fireplaces and to research their history. There is little information available on good fireplace and chimney design which might account for the decline in fireplace performance, and prompted him to write this book. With tables and charts to explain how to design, install and build real, domestic fires. By understanding how open fireplaces work, the reader might even be able to diagnose problems with existing installation. This is essential reading for architects, builders, restorers and ambitious DIY people.