18th-century thatched Icehouse at Scotney Castle & Gardens in Kent, United Kingdom. ( UK National Trust)
Basically Ice Houses were fashionable during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries before the invention of the refrigerator. Ice was collected from the moat during the winter months and stored inside the brick chamber. Due to the excellent insulation qualities of the Ice House, ice could be stored for up to a year, any ice that melted during this time would drain away out of a hole built into the bottom of the chamber.
But looking down to the depths of the building I saw the real secret of its success. The beautifully crafted brick cylinder has been dug deep into the earth and the bricks alongside the surrounding earth would have maintained an ambient temperature.
Artists Universe – 8th March 2012
Preserving History – 17th March 2012