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Report - Shurdington Icehouse, Shurdington, august 2014

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by huey, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. huey

    huey 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Aug 4, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi,second post for me and I think,first time this site has been done.
    Icehouses pre-date fridges as a way of storing food-they were simply a kind of shelter filled with ice. Size,location and type tell you a lot about their owners. Only wealthy people could afford the luxury of ice in their drinks all year round!
    Typically this one is right at the end of a country house grounds (out of the sight of the gentry although some have tunnels to the kitchens if they are close enough.) This 21 bed,Georgian country house originally built in 1616 became a hotel in 1947 and is now owned by a chain of hotel owners,wonder how many of them know its even there? Servants would have to fill them with ice and snow,sometimes brought in but these grounds have a large pond which were sometimes used too.Properly packed and insulated the ice could last between 2 and 3 years! This is actually a set of three,two smaller ones either side of a larger (approx 40 foot long) main chamber. All are the same width. Apparently some are joined together to aid cooling but due to flooding I cant see any connecting tunnels.
    These are typical design-brick outer,concrete or whatever domed roof,and after the ice was tipped in,covered with straw etc.The floors were curved to hold the ice as long as possible and a drain used to get rid of any water.
    Due to their construction they are hard to find,most people would think they are air raid shelters.
    Entrance to left smaller chamber
    Entrance to right smaller chamber
    Main chamber-smaller ones either side hiding under trees at the back!
    inside smaller one,the walls are tapered down,as the ice melts it compacts even more and lasts longer
    Entrance to the main one,hatch doors sadly long gone.Water 4 feet deep in this one.
    Inside main chamber-working out its volume = 50 tonnes of ice to fill it up!
    Lovely old railings have been there a while then...
    Thanks for looking.

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