A sign board near to the Ice House gives the following information:
Lancelot ‘Capability Brown’ started work at Compton Verney for the 14th Baron Willoughby de Broke in 1768.
This Ice House was built as a picturesque incident on the new drive in 1772, almost certainly to Brown’s dosing. Positioned amidst shrubbery in order to shade the building from the heat, the final payments for the structure in November 1772 included 15s 2d to a William Harris for thatching the roof.
During the winter, servants would cut blocks of ice from the lake and store them below ground in the ice house, between insulating layers of straw. Ice would then be removed as needed for cooking and entertaining during the summer month.
The Ice House’s roof was removed in the nineteenth century, and the opening covered with a brick dome. In 2010 the building was expertly restored thanks to generous financial support from Natural England.