Ice House

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.


10 Comments CherryPie on Mar 16th 2013

10 Responses to “Ice House”

  1. A thatched ice house?!
    This is so rare!
    I have only encountered two ice houses in London.
    One in the Kew Gardens, the other one in Holland Park.
    Neither of them has a thatched roof.

    But I have been to a thatched church on the Isle of Wight.
    Really interesting, like a cosy cottage inside! Ha~

  2. Bernard says:

    An Ice House?
    Angus and I know all about these – we live in them!
    The price of gas/electric/carbon-neutral-fat-teenagers, being what it is!
    Actually, that is a first for me, with a thatched roof. I’ve climbed into several around here, but all are brick with earth topping and most filled with rubble.
    Cheers……B x

  3. There use to be an old ice house up by the Canadian border. Instead of using straw they use sawdust.
    At one time there was a lot of sawmills in this area.

    Coffee is on.

  4. Actually, I don’t think I have ever seen a thatched ice house! Thanks for sharing it!

  5. james higham says:

    Adore it. I want to build one.