That looks like manky old lime plaster.
How old is your place? Is it an external wall?
It's around 1900 but I'm sure that section of the room was extended at a later date. Most of the house is a mix of brick and stone but the back of it appears to be cardboard. It's a wall that joins a neighbour but his house doesn't go that far back. His kitchen is about half the size of ours and it goes into his utility room (still inside though).
From this it sounds like the damp might be coming from the neighbours kitchen /utility guttering behind the wall?
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