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What is this hatch in my house?

A questioner said:

I have recently moved into a new house in the north of England which was built in 1938. This hatch was sealed and I had to use a chisel to knock away mostly old paint around the sides which were the cause of the block.

Once opened there is a load of dust. The hole inside goes back around 20cm and then vertically up.

I can’t see any ventilation bricks on the exterior of the building near the hatch and when shining a light up vertically no light was seen in the loft of the house.

Any ideas what this may be?

Here are some of the photos he posted:

r/whatisthisthing - What is this hatch in my house

r/whatisthisthing - What is this hatch in my house

r/whatisthisthing - What is this hatch in my house

r/whatisthisthing - What is this hatch in my house

The people answer on his question and some of them are:

  1. lwpho2 said : Is there anything on the second floor to suggest that this is a laundry chute? From what you wrote it doesn’t sound like it goes to the basement…. so it would be unusual, but if I saw this door in an old house I would assume it was a laundry chute.
  2. Ascholay said : Is that an outer wall? My grandparents had a similar hatch that connected to a mail slot. Theirs was right inside the front door.
  3. Yukels said  : A house I used to live in had simillar hatches. They were access doors to the chimney, for cleaning and inspection.
  4. nbreadcumb said : Is there a fireplace above this? My home has something similar where you sweep the ashes into a chute and it can be collected in a box like this.
  5. hollaartyournoy said : Don’t know but I love your wallpaper.
  6. Bergwookie said : Is there a fireplace underneath? Maybe it’s a hot air channel
  7. OkMusician9486 said : My comment describes the thing. 30x30cm hatch that opens to around 45 degrees. It is found in the 1st floor bedroom of a 1938 house. It is on an interior wall and is around 15cm from the roof.
  8. Ben_Wah_Walls said : Is this a bathroom?
  9. biscuitboi967 said : I have something VERY SIMILAR to this in my 1918 built house on the first floor. Asked my old lady neighbor what it was and she said it was an old fuse box.
  10. jengaduk said : I would say some kind of home help system ie laundry to kitchen or some such. I want that wall paper print on a t shirt though, that is amazing!!!
  11. Correct-Helicopter-5 said : It’s a soot door. For cleaning your chimney flue
  12. CrimsonGuardsman said : I know it’s a dumb suggestion, but coal chute?
  13. SkunkApe7712 said : I had something that looked similar on the outside of my Michigan, USA house. It had been covered over on the inside. It was for milk delivery. Although I think mine was just a straight pass-through hole in the wall.
  14. mary2of7 said : Our house was built in the 1950s and it has one of those in the bathroom. It is a dirty clothes hamper. Ours may be a little bigger than yours though.
  15. sohma_g said : Is it a milk door? For when milkmen would deliver to houses.
  16. Nemocom314 said : If I saw this in a house built in the 30s in the US then I would say laundry chute 100%… But it goes back 20cm (8 freedom units) and then goes up to not the attic? From the ‘1st floor’ which I think is our 2nd floor so it starts 12 feet above ground and goes to ~20 feet above ground? I wonder if the space above is just a void and they have blocked off the space below. What is below it? Where is the nearest water wall (bathroom, laundry, kitchen area?). Is there a reason this interior wall is 20cm deep?
  17. Objective_Score_9550 said : Looks like garbage disposal entrance that was shut off
  18. COG_BlackMamba said : That’s a cellar vent, I’m assuming where the house was built the cellar is in rocky or clay soil. When they bricked up, the CO could seep in but not escape because the difference in moisture levels in the brick work and soil. They would put in these little doors to avoid “miners headaches”, which is CO poisoning. Though this really didn’t work.
  19. yaboiskeemus said : My house was made in 1960 and it has a similar looking door that was used for ash to be dumped from the fireplace that collects in a pit in the basement that just looks like a normal concrete wall but has another similar door on it that would be used to dispose of all the built up ash
  20. Marsbarszs said : Not sure if it’s the correct answer but I remember seeing a post on Reddit with a kinda similar hatch and a wall full of used needles (or something like that) someone found while renovating their home. Maybe this was something similar


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