But the result was very satisfying.
I got a nice surprise under the brickwork.
Looking for something to fill the hole I did get a little carried away and ended up spending more than I planned but it was just so pretty:
Now when it comes to fitting the fire for use as a solid fuel fire things get complicated. It is possible to do it yourself but its recommended you get a HETAS certified fitter to do it. Also there are restrictions to what fuel I can actually use in this area. So I decided against going for solid fuel. Instead I have found a bio ethanol burner that will fit inside the grate and will disguise this with some decorative coals. This site has a guide to fitting a decorative fire which is basically just a case of filling in behind the fireplace. With the fireplace fitted I just needed to get everywhere re-plastered.
I wanted it purple but as my bedding and curtains were purple didnt want to overdo things. So kept the purple on the walls to the wall behind the bed and the chimney breast.