What is a Chimney Pot?

Although the top of the chimney isn’t often on your mind as you sit in front of a fire, you may have noticed round or octagonal clay “pots” on top of very tall chimneys. Perhaps you recall Mary Poppins gliding among London’s chimneys with her umbrella. Those toppers are called chimney pots.

ChimneyMartin Christopher Parker/Shutterstock

Almost everyone loves a warm, cozy, crackling fire in the fireplace. While the hearth and mantelpiece are the components we see, the chimney top, which is vital to a successful fire, often goes unnoticed.

There’s no one-size-fits-all rule for how often to clean your chimney flue. But in this article, we’ll explain how to check your chimney to know when it’s time for cleaning.

Although the top of the chimney isn’t often on your mind as you sit in front of a fire, you may have noticed round or octagonal clay “pots” on top of very tall chimneys. Perhaps you recall Mary Poppins gliding among London’s chimneys with her umbrella. Those toppers are called chimney pots.

Check out how to make these terra-cotta chimney flue planters.

Chimney pots became a popular fixture in the 18th and 19th centuries when people began burning coal to heat their homes. The terra-cotta pot was added to the top of the chimney as an inexpensive way to extend the chimney stack height, thus increasing the “draw” of air. This resulted in a reduced amount of soot and fumes entering the home.

Here are some of the best and safest alternative ways to heat your house if the electricity goes out.

Chimney pots were also a means of architectural expression, subsequently coming in a variety of designs. Tudor chimneys, for example, are typically very long in length, lending themselves to more modern designs. Some of them were intricately decorated to intimate wealth or social status. Others provided historical context, like the Moorish influences in southern Portugal. And some have served as iconic artwork pieces, including those designed by the Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi.

Here are the complete DIY instructions for installing a direct-vent gas fireplace.

Chimney pots can still be bought and installed to add style and increase flue performance on a chimney. They are made from clay, copper and steel and come in square, round or octagonal shapes. And, you can choose from a mortar mount, chimney mount, crown mount or inside flue mount.

Do you have a child with a dollhouse? You can buy miniature chimney pots for the roof!

Here’s how to build the very best fire in your fireplace.

Buy miniature chimney pots now on Amazon.

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Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com